Project Based learning is a time- tested method of learning. This method ensures that students get in-depth knowledge about their subjects and learn the application of those subjects to real life. Many schools today are incorporating the Project- Based learning method to various degrees. Proper implementation of this teaching methodology ensures that the students gain more from their education.
What is Project– Based learning?
As the name suggests, this method involves students in making a ‘project’ to depict, present or analyse what they learn in class. The project may be short -term or a long –term project. It may involve a group or may be individual. They may be graded or not graded.
There are many types of projects- It could be an essay, a collection of things, critical analysis or a presentation. Even Field trips and Lab Experiments are Projects. The project scope is very wide. It depends upon the creativity of the teacher or the student. For example- In literature, when learning Wordsworth’s poems, a project idea may be to present an essay on the ‘Influence of Nature’ on his poems. This will make the student critically analyse and read up all the poems of Wordsworth. Similarly, a group of students may make a presentation on a Chemistry topic and asked to teach to the entire class. Working in a group enhances leadership qualities and students can understand their strengths and weaknesses i.e. – few may be good at research, few others may be good at preparing the presentations and few others at public speaking.
Arya Gurukul, the ideal CBSE School in Ambernath has implemented the Project- Based learning methodology since many years and has found tremendous improvement in learning opportunities of their students.
What are the benefits of Project- Based learning?
Today, neither the students nor the parents enjoy rote learning. The focus of education has shifted from mugging up to application.
- Students need to improve upon their Life Skills such as speaking in front of an audience, making a presentation and critical analysis. This method ensures sharpening of these skills. Children gain confidence and it boosts their morale.
- It helps in Cognitive development or improves their Thinking capacity. Students learn to analyse, compare and debate on various topics. They learn to understand pros and cons. They learn problem solving.
- This method makes children more Creative. Students can choose many ways to depict their understanding about a subject in class- they may write a song, enact a play, make charts, write essays, make Advertisements or create simulations. The sky is the limit and the teacher must be open to all representations.
- It makes learning Enjoyable. Students get a break from the one way communication of the teacher in class. They can voice themselves and express themselves through projects.
- It encourages Self- Learning. Children do their research and try to get more information on the topics for the purpose of the project.
Student’s guide to making the most of their project-
- Enjoy the Project- It is important that the students enjoys doing the project to gain maximum benefit.
- Do –It Yourself- It is okay to discuss your ideas or refer to material for your project. But what should be avoided is to ask someone else to do the project for you. This only hinders your learning and you will not gain anything from it. The teachers at Arya Gurukul are strongly against such ‘borrowed projects’.
- Think ‘Out of the Box’- Your project will be noticeable if it has a surprise element to it. You can get creative with your project. Refer to the internet and add a personal element to it to make it interesting.
- Involve Others- Make your project about the audience you will present it to. You may include a questionnaire or perform a survey for collecting data about your topic. You may involve your classmates in a group discussion or leave the forum open to questions. In fact, projects become more valuable when there is a follow- up activity.
- Do not get confused- Often students get confused when they discuss their project with their classmates. Remember that the first idea that you have while thinking about a project is often the best idea.
Project- Based learning is not only a class activity but it has its impact on several areas of a child’s personality even outside the class. It improves their skills and makes them more confident. Therefore, teachers, students and parents- All the stakeholders must view this learning method as beneficial and make the most of it.