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PBL Rationale

PBL Rationale

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Published by: ghays on Nov 19, 2008
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Project Based Learning Rationale
Project-Based learning "is agreat way to immerse studentsin a fun, rich, and challenginglearning environment. Based onreal-life learning simulations."
By Dan Page
Why would we use Project-Based Learning?
 The current focus of education encourages knowledgeattainment but fails to provide students with thenecessary skills to use knowledge effectively. Despite thefact that test scores are high, standardized assessmentsare often a poor indicator of future success.Currently, students are disengaged and unmotivated withthe education process. They see education as a collectionof facts that have no relevance or importance to theoutside world. The problem is that in schools students aretold what to learn not how to learn.Project-Based Learning is a rigorous, relevant, andengaging education model that promotes self-directedlearning and “helps make learning relevant and useful tostudents by establishing connections to life outside theclassroom, addressing real-world concerns, anddeveloping real world skills.” (Project-Based Learning WithMultimedia, para.4)
Parramatta Marist High School 2008
 The effective implementation of Project-Based Learningredefines the classroom environment as teachers are nolonger distributors of knowledge, but they are participatesin the learning process with the students. The focus of Project-Based Learning involves planting a seed instudents and watching it grow as they “retain what theylearn rather than forget it as soon as they disgorge it for atest” (Curtis, 2001, para.18)
What would students gain from working inthis environment?
Students who participate in Project-Based Learningbecome lifelong learners. They gain increased motivationtowards their own education because Project-BasedLearning “provides opportunities for students to pursuetheir own interests and questions and make decisionsabout how they will find answers and solve problems.”(Project-Based Learning With Multimedia, para.2) The ability to collaborate and work as a team is a skill thatis imperative in any environment. Project-Based Learningcreates an environment where students “learn how tocollaborate, and their social skills improve. They are moreconfident talking to groups of people, including adults”(Curtis, 2001). Consequently, students who participate inProject-Based Learning will develop collaborative skillsthat traditional instruction fails to provide.Education is not just about content coverage, but aboutthe development of essential skills that will prepare ourstudents for the post-school world. In June 1991, theSecretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills(SCANS) released a report that examined the nature of theglobal workplace. It concluded, “that more than half of ouryoung people leave school without the knowledge orfoundation required to find and hold a good job” (SCANS
Parramatta Marist High School 2008
Report, p.8). As a result, the Partnership of 21st CenturySkills Organization was developed to provide schools witha suitable framework for the implementation andassessment of 21st Century skills. These skills includecreativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving,communication, collaboration, information literacy, medialiteracy and ICT literacy skills. Consequently, the focus of Project-Based Learning is on the development of skills thatprovide students with the foundation for lifelong learning.
Project Based Learning Stakeholders
 The major stakeholders in this project include:
Students will have to adapt to the newlearning environment, which will require them todemonstrate effective organisation, communication andwork ethic. However, the online learning environmentwill provide students with a number of benefitsincluding "instantaneous access to information and anability to cross geographic boundaries, more suited tothe post-industrial notion of school education" (Finger,Russell.G, Jamieson-Proctor, Russell.N, 2007, p.89)
Teachers are an important aspect of theimplementation of online learning environments. It istheir willingness and success at using ICT whichdetermines the overall success of the project. It is alsoessential that teachers "spend considerable time andeffort matching the curriculum activities and resources
Parramatta Marist High School 2008

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