eduSTEM

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Redfern, NSW 2016

Australia

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What is PBL?

Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.

As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful project. Project-based learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.

PBL: The benefits

Recent research has documented the significant gains of using PBL in the classroom. These include:

Increased student engagement

  • Increased engagement in class (Walker & Leary, 2009)

  • Improved attitudes towards learning (Thomas, 2000)

  • Increased motivation (Penuel, 2001)

 

Increased understanding

  • Retain content for longer (Penuel & Means, 2000)

  • Develop deeper understanding (Stepien, Gallagher & Workman, 1993)

  • Outperform other students on standardised testing (Parker et al., 2011)​

 

21st Century Skills

  • Improved problem solving skills (Finkelstein et al., 2010)

  • Improved critical thinking skills (Beckett & Miller, 2006)

  • Improved communication, team work, conflict resolution and EQ skills (Beckett & Miller; ChanLin, 2008)​