Trapped in discrete subject teaching, and effort that rarely extends beyond a 50min session, kids and teachers yearn for purposeful learning, beyond imposed ‘requirements’.
Project Based Learning is about making the learning matter. It is rigorous, sharing what success will look like, with kids and parents, and everyone being held accountable.
Start with a real question (around a theme of your choice), and give the children a time-frame to solve it, ending with a public exhibition, inviting parents and the school community. Of course you teach skills, facts and practice those. But, crucially, the kids will care.
It should be whole school, but I recommend starting with your own class, and being brave enough to set an end goal for the end of term that allows the kids to work towards a display of their response to a shared challenge. I’ve done it, been judged to be effective and successful in a normal school: and teachers all over the world are making a success of it. What have you got to lose?
@eylanezekiel – Teacher/Consultant, Oxford