Project Based Education
To prepare our students for successful entry into a 21st century workforce schools must shift curriculum and instruction practices to project based education modalities.
In a blog by Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart CEO, he defines project based education as: In PBL, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant to them in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts. Students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, project based learning gives students the opportunity to develop the real life skills required for success in today’s world.
Schools must focus instruction on project based education approaches. The jobs they are preparing for are project based. Very few jobs our students will enter will be broken into 7 equal daily segments with 7 isolated and unrelated tasks. Rather, they will apply a vast knowledge bases and experiences in a collaborative fashion to achieve a goal for the organization.
What typical high school segmented education is doing is training our students to not see the relevancy, nor have the skills necessary, to see the interconnectivity of knowledge. Schools must change to project based education practices to ensure our students are prepared to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, collaborators, communicators and impactful employees in a ever changing 21st century workforce.