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PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn.

Why Project Based Learning (PBL)?

Project Based Learning’s time has come. The experience of thousands of teachers across all grade levels and subject areas, backed by research, confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn -- and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career and civic life. Why are so many educators across the United States and around the world interested in this teaching method? The answer is a combination of timeless reasons and recent developments.

  • Today’s students, more than ever, often find school to be boring and meaningless. In PBL, students are active, not passive; a project engages their hearts and minds, and provides real-world relevance for learning.
  • After completing a project, students remember what they learn and retain it longer than is often the case with traditional instruction. Because of this, students who gain content knowledge with PBL are better able to apply what they know and can do to new situations.
  • In the 21st century workplace, success requires more than basic knowledge and skills. In PBL, students not only understand content more deeply but also learn how to take responsibility and build confidence, solve problems, work collaboratively, communicate ideas, and be creative innovators.
  • The Common Core and other present-day standards emphasize real-world application of knowledge and skills, and the development of the 21st century competencies such as critical thinking, communication in a variety of media, and collaboration. PBL provides an effective way to address such standards.
  • Modern technology – which students use so much in their lives – is a perfect fit with PBL. With technology, teachers and students can connect with experts, partners, and audiences around the world, and use tech tools to find resources and information, create products, and collaborate more effectively.
  • PBL allows teachers to work more closely with active, engaged students doing high-quality, meaningful work, and in many cases to rediscover the joy of learning alongside their students.
  • Current models of PBL are not like some past examples of “doing projects” in which student learning outcomes were not clear. More rigorous and effective models of PBL, such as BIE’s, have been refined and tested in recent years in a variety of settings, subjects, and grade levels.

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