There are some aspects of good education that will never change.
Good communication between the teacher and pupil, for example, is a must, as is the partnership between teachers and parents. But, there are also areas of education that are more flexible, such as your teaching styles.
Teachers don’t have to all follow the same rules when it comes to their approach to helping kids learn, and it’s important you try out some different methods to keep your classroom fun and engaging! One method of learning that’s becoming more popular is project-based learning.
Find out more about what this is and why it’s great for kids in this guide.
What Is Project-Based Learning?
When it comes to traditional education for children, it’s usually based around sharing information and then giving individual tasks, like writing or reading. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s a bit limiting. Trying out some different approaches can help increase student engagement and improve their understanding.
Project based learning (PBL) is one of these approaches. With PBL, your students will work on a single project for an extended period of time, be it a week, a few weeks, or even a whole semester! The projects are usually based around teamwork, too, although they can be done individually too.
In PBL, the project is the focus of learning. Research, teaching, learning, assessments, and feedback all take place during the project as part of the process.
Okay, now you know more about what it is, let’s take a look at the benefits you could see by implementing more project-based learning!
Improve Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is something that needs to be developed throughout a child’s education. PBL is a great chance to focus on the 5 key elements of critical thinking, which are:
By giving your students a question that they have to go away and work on, all of those skills can be put to use. Because it’s a long-term project, pupils will have to carefully consider every step of their work before they move forward, will have to analyze and interpret the question you’ve given, explain their work, and reflect on feedback. There are so many different aspects to PBL that can develop a range of skills in your pupils.
If you launch a project that’s collaborative, you’ll be forcing your kids to improve their teamwork skills. Some may already be great at working with others, while some will have to look at their weaknesses and improve them. This is especially great for quiet children who will have to find their voice and stubborn pupils who will have to learn to compromise.
At the beginning of your project, have a session on teamwork and encourage your pupils to make rules for their team that they all must follow. This will not only help them to monitor their own collaboration but others too. Over the project, students should learn to value their own work, the work of others, and learn how to share responsibilities.
Creativity is often overlooked in the types of teaching styles, but PBL lets it shine. By letting children run free with their project, they can be as creative as they like and really put their imagination to work! Make sure to encourage innovation to get those creative juices flowing.
Because projects run for longer than usual work, kids can get really involved in them. They have more freedom to take the project in a direction they’d like, too. Both of these lead to increased engagement from pupils.
As they work and become immersed in their project, you should find that their rate of learning increases simply because they want to learn more! They become their own driving force and discover that learning isn’t just about listening to someone else, but about finding out things for themselves.
When it comes to teaching children, encouraging communication is a must. By presenting in class the findings and results of their project, you can help your pupils become more confident with public speaking and learn more about effective communication. By the end of the project, every pupil should have said something in front of the class, and they all will have grown a little from this.
They’ll also have to learn how to communicate within their group at a closer level. They’ll learn how to share ideas, give feedback, and let others share their own ideas, too.
The best teaching styles are always fun! If education is boring, your kids aren’t going to be engaged and they’ll end up learning less, while fun lessons will keep them interested and make them want to know more. There’s no doubt that project-based learning is one of the more fun ways to teach and learn!
By giving your pupils the freedom to independently explore their topics and create their own interpretations, they’ll find the work a lot more fun. They can also talk, share ideas, and think outside the box, which is much more interesting than simply reciting from textbooks. PBL thrives on excitement and adds meaning to learning.
Explore More Teaching Styles
Project-based learning isn’t the only teaching style out there that could transform learning in your classroom. Make sure to explore lots of different approaches for fun and varied learning that will help your pupils to thrive. Remember, teaching styles can make all the difference in the success of your students, so be sure to put the time into finding the right ones for yours.
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