Project-Based Learning

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Project-Based Learning
Penny Williams, Coordinator, Youth Development
Patrick Shaw, Staff Development Specialist
OCM BOCES
Syracuse, NY
Critical Thinking
Creativity
Collaboration
Communication
Task
Analysis
Video:
Buck Institute for Education
PBL (6:52 mins)
Project Based Learning is a teaching
method in which students:

Engage in a rigorous, extended process of inquiry
focused on complex, authentic questions and problems

Work as independently from the teacher as possible,
and have some degree of “voice and choice”

Demonstrate in-depth understanding of academic
knowledge and skills

Build 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical
thinking, creativity and communication

Create high-quality products an performances which
are presented to a public audience
PBL Misconceptions

PBL is NOT…the dessert, …

PBL is… the main course

PBL is NOT…. a string of activities tied together under a
theme, concept, time period, culture…
PBL is….set of learning experiences and tasks that guide
students in inquiry toward answering a central question,
solving a problem, or meeting a challenge

PBL Misconceptions

PBL is NOT: the same as “making something” or hands-on
learning” or “doing an activity.”

PBL is…often focused on creating physical artifacts, but
not always. It must involve other intellectually
challenging tasks and products focused on research,
reading, writing, discussion and oral presentation.
PBL’s Effectiveness: What Experience Tells Us:
Classroom Teachers say….

Can work for all kinds of students, with the right support

Improves students’ motivation to learn

Can be used to teach academic content standards

Can include multiple opportunities to integrate
technology

Helps students see how school connects to the outside
world by making learning relevant and meaningful

Promotes greater civic participation and global
awareness
PBL’s Effectiveness: Schools have used PBL
effectively in all grades for special purpose:



Career/technical education programs;
continuation/alternative high school
programs; after-school programs; summer
school
Integrating two or more school subjects and
encouraging team teaching
Connecting the school to other schools, the
community, businesses, and other
organizations
PBL’s Effectiveness: Researchers have found that a
well-designed & well-implemented PBL Can:

Be more effective than traditional instruction in increasing
academic achievement

Increase student motivation and engagement in learning

Improve students’ retention of knowledge over time

Improve students’ mastery of 21st century skills

Be especially effective with lower-achieving students

Increase students’ achievement on state-administered,
standardized tests
PBL
21st Century
Skills
Why Have a Driving Question?

For Students

For Teachers

Guides Project Work


Creates interest and/or
the Feeling of
Challenge
Guides Planning &
Reframes Content
Standards or Big Ideas

Captures &
Communicates the
Purpose of the Project

Initiates and Focuses
Inquiry

Reminds them “Why
we’re doing this today”
Criteria for Evaluating Your Driving
Question:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Will my students understand it?
(Bonus:…and find it intriguing)
Is it open-ended and does it require a
complex answer?
To answer it, will my students need to learn
important content and skills?
Does it focus on an authentic issue, problem
or challenge? (Bonus:…and create a local
context for the project?)
Sources of Inspiration








Your Content Standards
Your Community
Your Students
Current Events
Real-World Practice/Problem
Online Project Libraries
Your File Cabinet
Your Colleagues
Example Entry Events:










Field Trip
Guest Speaker
Film, Video, Website
Simulation or Activity
Provocative Reading
Startling Statistic
Puzzling Problem
Piece of Real or Mock Correspondence
Song, Poem, Art
Lively discussion
Video:
Elementary Example
Children Pilot Their Own Learning
PBL (8:50 mins)
Spotlight Projects to Explore:

9th grade Introductory Science: “Product Comparison”

10th-11th grade Algebra II/Trigonometry: “Projectile Motion”

11-12th grade English and U.S. Government: “Banned in America”

7th grade Life Science: “A Balancing Act”

11th grade U.S. History: “American Archetypes”

11th-12th grade Information Technology/Business/Arts: “Design and
Attract”
Video: Closure
Student Voice
PBL (6:52 mins)
Questions & Comments:
[email protected]
[email protected]
Projects:
LIMITED
AMBITIOUS
Duration
10-15 contact hours
Breadth
1 Subject:
Few Standards
Interdisciplinary:
Several Standards
Basic
Extensive
Classroom
Community/World
One Teacher
Several Teachers, outside
experts, community
Classroom
Experts, Community,
World, web
Teacher-defined; Tightly
managed
Co-Defined and
managed
Technology
Setting
Who’s Involved
Audience
Student
Autonomy
40+ contact hours
Project Packets

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Team Roster
Project Calendar
Rubric & Assessments
Checklist of Requirements
Templates for Contracts, lists, etc.
Presentation/Exhibition Schedule
Resource List
Who Would
you Put on a
Team?
Social
Factors
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