Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge (www.bie.org)
Projects are focused on student learning goals and include Essential Project Design Elements:
Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management.
Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
Reflection - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom. (www.bie.org)
At Cascade Learning Centre in Dubai, we provide our students with the space and time to take their learning to an in-depth level via project based learning. What we find is that students often come to us from a more heavily teacher directed model and they literally can't believe that they are able to have their own 'voice and choice' over what they are going to learn and how they are going to present their information. It is amazing to see what our student's create when just given the time and space to explore many different materials.