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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Conditions that support project learning

Conditions that support project learning

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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34 Replies 2641 Views
Some essential conditions need to be in place for pbl practices to really take hold and so kids can accomplish marvelous things. I've been doing some pbl program planning recently and I need your advice. We all know PBL works best when certain conditions are in place. What would you say those essential conditions are? I know teacher characteristics, intentions and methods are key, but outside the teachers and students, what else? I'm starting a list and I wonder if you might add to it. Additionally, sometimes the removal of barriers is important, too. Essential Conditions for PBL strong implementation * A school culture that tolerates, even encourages, the sometimes messy chaos of student-directed learning. * Access to any technologies that support the teaching and learning enterprise * A system of accountability that causes a teacher to demonstrate --and parents and administrators to understand-- that rigorous learning aims are met though the PBL. * ? Remove barriers * Reconsider when and where learning takes place. Structure some flexibility (oxymoron!) into the school program so spaces and time are less of a limiting factor. * ? I appreciate your help!

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Leah MacVie's picture
Leah MacVie
Instructional Designer | Canisius College

I would also add something about utilizing community resources. Project based learning doesn't just have to happen on school time, or on school grounds. It can branch out into the community. Also, teachers can bring in community experts and resources.

Armando Di-Finizio's picture
Armando Di-Finizio
Principal of a Secondary School in Bristol, UK

Teachers should recognise that their professional status lies first and foremost in their understanding of pedagogy. In PBL teachers must become facilitators of learning. They must develop excellent questioning techniques that will draw out the best from students, be their to encourage, motivate and at the end of the day - be another resource for the student.

Michael Flood's picture

Time and Patience.
I'm working with a group of students right now building a bike shelter. We have the luxury of time, being in a week long, end of year intensive.
It seems that one of the critical aspects of the prepared environment for project based learning is time - time to explore, time to make mistakes, and time to learn.

Patty Langston's picture

Lack of understanding by educators of formative assesment tools (ie: rubrics). Training in utilizing these tools by both student and teacher will enhance the PBL experience and allow even greater challenges to be issued.

Lack of accountability of the students to complete the projects. This must be done or the PBL will not be as affective as its potential. Motivating the students to become invigorated and excited about their projects and still held accountable by being able to maintain a living project will help maintain that accountability. I have discovered, that if the project becomes simply an assignment not a living project that is sharable, they are not as involved nor are they as productive.

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