How to Reinvent Project Based Learning to Be More Meaningful
By Thom Markham This is a crucial time for education. Every system in every country is in the process of figuring out how to reboot education to teach skills, application, and attitude in addition to recall and understanding. That’s why so many educators are using the project based learning (PBL) model. However, it’s also time to reboot PBL. If PBL is to become a powerful, accepted model of instruction in the future, a vocabulary change may be in order — preferably to the term project based inquiry. 1. Infusing inquiry into the curriculum is the goal, so that instruction starts with questions rather than broadcasting content. First, think skills. Think strategically. Use PBL for entrepreneurial inquiry. Differentiate subjects. 2. It is impossible at this historical juncture to figure out how much students need to put into hard-wired long term memory versus how much information they simply download, pass through, and apply. Let go of theory. Analyze the project. Use direct instruction.