Project and Problem Based Learning. John Henry EIRC firstname.lastname@example.org. Objectives. Know what Project and Problem Based Learning is and why it is used. Understand the basic process of PBL Do an engagement activity
A three-year 1997 study of two secondary schools -- one that used open-ended projects and one that used more traditional, direct instruction -- found striking differences in understanding and standardized achievement data in mathematics.
The study by Jo Boaler, at Stanford University, found that students at a project-based school did better than those at the more traditional school both on math problems requiring analytical or conceptual thought and on those considered rote, that is, those requiring memory of a rule or formula.
Three times as many students at the project-based school received the top grade achievable on the national examination in math.
In a five-year study, researchers at SRI International found that technology-using students in Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project-Based classrooms outperformed non-technology-using students in communication skills, teamwork, and problem solving.
The Center for Learning in Technology researchers, led by Bill Penuel, found increased student engagement, greater responsibility for learning, increased peer collaboration skills, and greater achievement gains by students who had been labeled low achievers.
Students from Multimedia Project classrooms outperformed comparison classrooms in all three areas scored by researchers and teachers: student content, attention to audience, and design. The Multimedia Project involves completing one to four interdisciplinary multimedia projects a year that integrate real-world issues and practices.
Alternative school offers unique curriculum, project-based learning Lakeview School in Ill., use PBL to reach students who are struggling in traditional schools by implementing a curriculum that is based on "doing things based on real world situation." The alternative Global Citizenship Experience School combines many core subjects – while addressing state standards -- and uses a project-based approach that incorporates cultural awareness, sustainability and other themes. Chicago Tribune
Data show project-based learning may help boost achievement: Anecdotal evidence has long supported the notion that project-based learning can deepen learning for students and help them gain skills they need for college and careers,
Envision Schools founder Bob Lenz writes in this blog post. But a new report finds that 12th-grade students who were taught a project-based economics curriculum outscored a control group on standardized tests, and their teachers were reportedly more satisfied with the material, Lenz notes. Edutopia.org/Bob Lenz's blog (9/30)
Average Retention Rates
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning.
During the 1990's a new group of cognitive psychologist, lead by Lorin Anderson (a former student of Bloom's), updated the taxonomy reflecting relevance to 21st century work.
Sir Ken Robinson on the Power of the Imaginative Mind
Is a teaching and learning model that focuses on the central concepts and principles of a discipline, involves students in problem solving and other meaningful tasks, allows students to work autonomously and in groups to construct their own learning, culminates in realistic, student generated products.
Buck Institute for Education
Finkle and Torp (1995) state that "problem-based learning is a curriculum development and instructional system/process that simultaneously develops both problem solving strategies and disciplinary knowledge bases and skills by placing students in the active role of problem solvers confronted with an ill-structured problem that mirrors real-world problems"
Learning as an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current or past knowledge. Students continually build upon what they have already learned.
Ms, McIntyre introduced a “project” to her students. She plopped a packet of papers on each student’s desk and explained that each student would create a poster about water-borne bacterium and how it can be harmful to humans. The packet included
assignment sheets with due dates and grading policy, a guide for designing the poster, and a list of websites and books to use.
Giving students a project, that is hands-on, with step by step instructions, designed and guided by the teacher that results in a student produced product. This process is missing student voice and choice, and may not be authentic or relevant
Ms, McIntyre introduced a “project” to her students. She plopped a packet of papers on each student’s desk and explained that each student would create a poster about water-borne bacterium and how it can be harmful to humans. The packet included assignment sheets with due dates and grading policy, a guide for designing the poster, and a list of websites and books to use.
examine and try out what they know
Students discover what they need to learn
Develop team building and people skills for achieving higher performance in group settings
Improve communication skills
Achievement Gap or Engagement Gap?
85% of Middle and High School Students report being bored in their classrooms
Example of Engagement Activity
What’s your Game
Interest, hands-on, interactive and collaborative
A can of highly toxic popcorn has contaminated a circle of approximately 4 feet in diameter. The toxic area extends to the ceiling. If the toxic popcorn is not transferred to a safe container for decontamination, it will contaminate the region The popcorn is estimated to have a safe life of exactly 15 minutes before it explodes. It’s up to you to save the day!
Inside the circle you will find two cans. One
(unsafe container) is half full of the toxic
popcorn. The other (safe) container is available for decontamination. Find a way to collaboratively to safely transfer the toxic popcorn from the unsafe container to the safe container, using only the materials provided to you.
Think critically and be able to analyze and solve complex, real-world problems
Find, evaluate, and use appropriate learning resources
Work individually and cooperatively in teams and small groups
Demonstrate versatile and effective communication skills, both verbal and written
Use content knowledge and develop skills to become life-long learners in order to succeed in a global economy
The World Demands it
The National Problem:
As a result of a relative decline in student achievement … and interest of students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)-related careers …
the United States IS AT RISK.
21st Century Themes
Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy
Students engage in real world issues where students define and solve problems that are meaningful to them.
PBL usually begins with a Scenario
They begin to Brainstorm and ask questions
Students learn and practice team building and social skills by working in cooperative teams and sometimes with people in the community
Students use critical thinking, planning skills, problem solving skills, and research in order to solve the problem.
Students apply skills based on a specific content area in a variety of ways as they work on the project.
Gives students practice in a variety of skills that they will be able to use in future careers or during their adult lives such as responsibility, leadership, and problem solving.
It usually ends with a product or presentation that demonstrates learning and is assessed.
Includes expectations for the project, based on the learning outcome. These are stated at the beginning of the project and are linked to state standards.
Includes reflection activities that help students to think critically about their experiences.
Problem-based learning encourages students to take control and become active in their learning.
Research tends to suggest that when compared to graduates from a traditional program, PBL graduates are better prepared for professional life with advanced level interpersonal skills, the ability to work effectively in cross and interdisciplinary teams and lifelong learning skills.
As more PBL graduates make their way into the workforce the reputation of PBL will grow and it is likely that employers could show preference for graduates with the types of knowledge, skills and attitudes developed and encouraged by problem-based learning
PBL learners become:
The teacher plays the role of facilitator, working with students to frame worthwhile questions, structuring meaningful tasks, coaching both knowledge development and social skills, and carefully assessing what students have learned from the experience.
Students are at the center of the work to be accomplished. The classroom environment is student centered, not teacher directed. Students are responsible for brainstorming, solving problems, working together, documenting, evaluating their progress and presenting their findings.
The core idea of Project and Problem Based learning is that real-world problems capture students' interest and provoke serious thinking as the students acquire and apply new knowledge in a problem-solving context.
Using your classroom, the school or the local community as a context for learning, write your own PBL Scenario
1. Background Information
2. Student Relevance