Project based learning is learning by:
- Improving and refining
- Experimentation and Inquiry
Despite this type of learning going back centuries, it doesn’t seem particularly in vogue. Instead we have a system which is accused of being too much ‘work today’, ‘jam tomorrow’ … Has learning fallen in to a ‘linear trap’?
Take Bloom’s Taxonomy. No one would sensibly suggest it’s components were bad or harmful. However, why should learning only progress up through these stages? Supporters of PBL say this is an inefficient way to learn and real learning is far messier than this. Learning by a mixture of thinking and making, collaborating and experimenting, designing and theorising – applied to real world problems is said to lead to better understanding, long term retention and motivation. As pupils iteratively grapple with messy reality, their knowledge, comprehension and understanding grows too.
This tends to match what the teenage polyglots say about learning languages
One group of schools in the UK have set themselves up along these methods. They are called Studio Schools.
What does this mean for our learning? Should we better just roll up our sleaves and get stuck in? That’s what Tim Doner says:
What does it mean for you?