Project Based Learning

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended investigation process in response to a complex open-ended question or an engaging real-world problem. With teacher guidance, research teams of 3 to 5 students work together to investigate a topic, develop a project plan, and create a high-quality product solution. Students then present their work publicly to others. It is more than just “doing projects” as the dessert of the lesson; rather, the project is the main course where the learning occurs. 

This problem-solving approach to learning charges students to be actively engaged in their learning, while mastering key Common Core State Standards and developing greater fluency in 21st Century Skills. (See for a discussion on the research base.) 

Project based learning has some very important benefits for our kids:

1. Increasing intrinsic motivation and student ownership for their learning

2. Moves students from being passive consumers of information to active producers of new knowledge

3. Students learn content while practicing research and presentation skills

4. Deeper learning and greater ability to apply old knowledge to new situations

5. Students practice collaboration and critical thinking skills

6. Learning how to be self-directed and how to take the initiative to complete team and individual tasks

7. Improves ability to question and pose problems 

8. Encourages thinking about one’s own thinking patterns

9. Supports listening with empathy and understanding

10. Data gathering, synthesizing, making meaning, testing ideas, building on feedback, improving ideas

11. Ability to communicate with clarity, precision, and purpose

12. How to think with others

13. Builds on curiosity and sharpens imagination, creativity and innovation skills