Project-Based Learning (PBL)
A structured approach to learning where students tackle meaningful projects that address significant content.
Growth - Strengthen and interest-based yet open to taking risks.
Supportive - educator factilitated, yet student-led.
Authentic - Real and focused, yet open to new innovative possibilities.
Wholistic - Product yet process focused.
Challenging Problem or Question - The heart of a project--what it is "about," if one were to sum it up--is a problem to investigate and solve, or a question to explore and answer.
Student Inquiry - To inquire is to seek information or to investigate--it's a more active, in-depth process than ust "looking somethign up" in a book or online. The inquiry process takes time, which means a Gold Standard project lasts more than a few days. The process also repeats itself until a satisfactory solution or answer is developed.
Authenticity - In education, the concept has to do with how "real-world" the learning or the task is. Authenticity increases student motivation and learning.
Student Voice & Choice - Having a say in a project creates a sense of ownership in students; they care more about the project and work harder.
Reflection - Throughout a project, students--and the teacher--should reflect on what they're learning, how they're learning, and why they're learning.
Critique and Revision - Students should be taught how to give and receive constructive peer feedback that will improve project processes and products, guided by rubrics, models, and formal feedback/critique protocols.
Public Product - Like authenticity, a public product adds greatly to PBL's motivating power and encourages high-quality work. When students have to present or display their work to an audience beyong the classroom, the performance bar raises, since no one wants to look bad in public.