A Look at Project Based Learning

Looking into PBL

I’ve been wanting to post recently, but have been at a little writer’s block. I think in part there has been a lot that has happened over the past week that I have so many thoughts that it’s tough to think to write. So. . . . I went to my Personal Learning Network and asked them what they thought I should write about. Many great ideas came back, with the most popular being comparing Project Based Learning (PBL) to Traditional Learning (TL).

I am a rather young teacher. I have taught 3 years in a traditional school and almost a full year in a PBL school. There is a huge difference. However, I don’t know all the data that has been found off the top of my head. So I did a search on “Project Based Learning vs. Traditional Learning” and got results on medical school. It was difficult to find for younger schools, when I got to thinking that those might be some good sites to look at.

Think about it. PBL in medical school. Does it make sense? One such site was a forum asking about medical school and which is the best. PBL or TL? The best part of PBL for me is that it allows you to open you mind and explore the science and medicine so that you really do understand it. . . All of the cases are followed up by lecture, this means that when you go to a lecture you already have knowledge about the subject as you would have covered it in your PBL group; however with lecture base course you go into the lecture with not much prior knowledge and sometimes it can be hard to keep concentration 100% when trying to understand a concept you have not really heard about (then you say i`ll catch up later and never get round to it).

This is some great insight. That’s what PBL is. It’s a chance to learn things on your own, then when you go and talk about them later, you already have an understanding of the information instead of just trying to take it all in. Is that what you want in a doctor? I would like one that has a great understanding of what he/she are doing before they look at me. I feel that this is important for students in learning. If they can get a grasp of things, then when we talk about what they learned, it helps ingrain the information into their minds.

However, is it for everyone? I think parts of it can be, but there is a lot of work that is included in PBL. From another forum I found thisPersonally, I chose a school that is more lecture-based, with some PBL incorporated into the 2nd year, because I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough direction and wouldn’t learn what I should know in a 100% PBL program. I’ve heard that it’s very possible to “slip through the cracks” with PBL, and not learn the right material, but I think that can also happen with a traditional curriculum as well. I think that having a mix is the best-case scenario for me, because you get the “basics” in a lecture format, but you still can synthesize clinically relevant information and go through that thought-process using some PBL format later on. So you can see that different people learn different ways and need different things.

Now, with younger students, this is a chance for students to really grab ahold of their own learning. Students learn how to budget their time and their work to get things completed. I feel that this is very important. Growing up I didn’t have this chance, so when I became an adult, I was still learning this skill. Do students fall and need help? Of course, but they become stronger themselves.

There are aspects of both that I feel students need. To go 100% PBL from Kindergarten to high school is not what students need. I feel that students need to have a mix of both. Sometimes at the same time, other times 100% PBL or TL for a year or more at a time. Students need the chance to learn in different styles so that they can see the benefits of both and know which is best for them when they step into the world and it is 100% their own learning. . . . which is college.

About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Education, Personal Learning Network, PLN, Project Based Learning, School, Teaching, Traditional Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

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