Project-based learning is the development of a some sort of product in response to a problem. This teaching approach is useful in maintaining motivation and student engagement. Project-based learning also helps in improving a students to learn on their own.
Project-based learning has two main characteristics. First, there is a central question that the students need to investigate. Second, to answer the question, the students need to create some kind of project.
For example, a history teacher is teaching his students about ancient Mesopotamia. The question he poses to his students is “what are the geographical characteristics of Mesopotamia?” To answer this question, he has the students develop a tourism advertisement that promotes the geographical features of Mesopotamia. Students answer the question not through listing the traits but developing a promotional poster. This is much more engaging then just listing traits.
Other characateristics of project-based learning is that they:
- Last for an extended period of time
- High student choice
Roles of Teacher
The teacher’s responsibility is to empower students to make decision. There is little prescription of what to do. Instead, the teacher serves more as a consultant or expert for the students when they are working on their projects. Through this, students are able to develop decision-making skills.
The teacher is also responsible to make sure students have the necessary skills needed to complete the project. Lack of prior knowledge will only harm motivation and discourage students. Students should apply skills they have in projects and perhaps acquire new skills that they can acquire without teacher support.
Project-based learning is an opportunity for students to have power in their growth and learning as they respond to a problem posed by their teacher. This form of instruction is beneficial in developing a learner’s ability to learn on their own.