Advantages of Project Based Learning

Author : Guest Blogger
Date : March 5, 2017

There are many different teaching methods and learning styles, but for somewhat obvious reasons, project-based learning tends to be the most successful.

Project-based learning (or PBL) is founded on the concept that people learn by doing.  This is not to say that theory and fundamental instruction-based learning isn’t also important, but with a PBL approach to teaching, skills can be picked up rapidly and also retained more easily by most people.

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Despite the publication of numerous studies proving the effectiveness of PBL, many traditional schools are reluctant to make it the main component of their curriculum.  Of course certain topics are more suitable for PBL than others, but in fact PBL can be effectively implemented in just about any topic, from mathematics to history.

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One of the very best topics to teach through PBL is computing.  This is because it is economical compared to many other topics (not requiring high input costs for materials, and materials can be recycled or re-used), and because it’s also a very important subject area with important transferable skills to be learned.  For example, PBL is the standard teaching method at Junior Coders, a privately run learning hub based in Brampton, Ontario.  The results of their experiment in PBL have been highly successful in inspiring kids with a better understanding of technology, especially with regard to programming skills.

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Another reason why places like Junior Coders are able to achieve such a high level of success is that many ordinary school classrooms and teachers are not equipped for proper PBL, so the amount of knowledge transfer in that environment is likely to be lower, and there’s a risk of some kids slipping under the radar.  They might be perfectly capable of achieving the task, but because of the lack of resources and competition for individual attention and “screen time”, they don’t always get sufficient opportunities.

PBL-Cycle

Dedicated learning environments like Junior Coders, where there is clearer focus and everything is set up from the start for PBL in computing, will naturally be able to provide more access to resources and provide more individual attention.

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