Project-Based Learning: An Overview

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Former Director of Outreach at Edutopia

PBL for K-2

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Response from Edutopia staff:

Hi Altamease,

Here are two examples of project-based learning at the primary level which show how teachers have designed and implemented projects appropriate for young learners:

Voyages of Discovery: Five-Year-Olds Explore Through PBL and accompanying video segment showing PBL in action at Auburn Early Education Center in Alabama.

Another great example comes from Newsome Park Elementary in Newport, VA. The video gives examples from K-5. The accompanying article, More Fun Than a Barrel of . . . Worms?! provides more background and context.

These two Web sites are wonderful resources for teachers interested in PBL:
The Project Approach
The Online Resource for PBL

Hope this is a good start as you explore teaching through project learning!

Sincerely,

Diane Demee-Benoit
Consulting Online Editor, Edutopia.org

Altamease Ford (not verified)

PBL for K-2

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I am interested in exploring PBL for my kindergarten class. Can anyone share their experiences in this area?

Janet (not verified)

The value of project-based learning

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The video showed a variety of situations involving project-based learning. Students in a number of schools were involved in hands-on experiences. Some were involved in making vehicles, and some were actually diving for various underwater treasures. The students were self-involved, and working with groups. It was very impressive.

michele (not verified)

The value of project-based learning

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I think that PBL will enhance the students way of thinking. It provides hands on experience, which helps the students become more aware of what they are learning.

Former Director of Outreach at Edutopia

What are the disadvantages of project-based learning?

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In response to Akif ÇEÇE --

There is a growing body of research that shows the advantages of project learning for students and teachers. Some of the challenges of project-based learning include
increased preparation time to come up with the "essential question" for the project and the time to evaluate student work.

These edutopia articles and videos offer some answers:
A New Way to Teach: Begin with the End

Assessment for Understanding: Taking a Deeper Look
The PBL Launch Pad: Worthwhile Projects for High School Students, Part 1

Edutopia's free module on Assessment will provide you with some basic starting points.

Finally, the Web site PBL Online would be an excellent resource for someone interested in learning more about how to do project-based learning.

Overall, teachers I've spoken with who take the project learning approach say they'd never teach in a different way because the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Akif ÇEÇE (not verified)

What are disadvantages of project-based learning?

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what are disadvantages the project based learning, any idea or article you know?
what is the "pbl" state in the world,, write pls

LaVonna Betz (not verified)

Spanish podcast for 5th graders

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We are the only gifted magnet school in St. Louis Public School District. Each of our 5th grade Spanish students have been working diligently to create, illustrate, translate, & narrate an original story which we are bringing to you as a podcast.

TPR

The stories are an outgrowth of the textbook we use in the Spanish Language Progam at Kennard. The textbook borrows heavily from the TPR method of teaching, which is Total Physical Response begun by James Asher in the 1920’s. Basically students learn Spanish by acting it out. The textbook uses simple TPR stories in cartoon form. The podcasts are inspired by these stories.

Many, if not all of our students, have ever done much with computers and some heve never even heard their own voices. So the project was in itself a brand-new learning experience in what they can do with a computer. In some ways I feel like a pioneer with a laptop and a few ideas to help make learning Spanish fun and exciting to my students.

We're still uploading our stories online, so we're still anziously waiting to see ourselfes online! Come visit us at kennardspanish.org and tell us what you think!

Virginia (not verified)

Literary field trip

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Could you explain your literary field trip a bit more? I've been looking for PBL implementations in my lit class and most of what I find is "Well - they write up their findings" and the like.

Virginia (not verified)

PBL and the Buck Institute model

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I've been reading a lot about PBL lately, and I really liked what the Buck Institute had to say - which is basically what I think you are saying - direct instruction is still necessary for basic skills. My assumption is that you have to start from the top and work down. Decide what skills you hope your students leave your classroom with and then design a project that aims towards those - assuming basic skills are there, or at least attainable in the course of the project. Also, may be it is a matter or just giving it a go and seeing what needs to be done. Maybe you start with some assumptions, learn you are wrong and build in instructional time for what is missing. Of course, I've only done small projects working towards doing something bigger and I teach in a private school where I have more freedom than the average public school teacher.

Jill Gastrock (not verified)

I implement project-based learning

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I implement project-based learning through planning a literary trip to Boston & surrounding area. Students are given a time frame, money limits, adult-student ratio, etc. I teach American Literature and one year I did this at the beginning, and students could relate back to it when we were going through the Colonial Period and this year I will try it at the end of the year and students can review those literary giants from the Boston area and are reminded of the Colonial Period setting after reading The Crucible. This could easily be transferred to planning a literary-based trip anywhere in the world.
Good luck.

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