Every system in every country is in the process of figuring out how to reboot education. That’s why so many educators are using the project based learning (PBL) model. PBL has proven to be a means for setting up the kind of problem-solving challenges that engage students in deeper learning and critical inquiry. It requires students to research, collaborate, decide on the value of information and evidence, accept feedback, design solutions, and present findings in a public space—all factors that create the conditions under which high performance and mastery are most likely to emerge. The rise of PBL, in fact, is a success story for education. However, it’s also time to reboot PBL. It continues to be misinterpreted as a single teaching strategy rather than as a set of design principles that allow us to introduce the philosophy of inquiry into education in an intelligent and grounded way. It’s plagued by misunderstandings about when it should be used, and when not, and to what extent it can fulfill the mandate of a standards-based system. Too often, it ends with enthusiastic students delivering mediocre work — and teachers aren’t sure what went wrong or right. If PBL is to become a powerful, accepted model of instruction in the future, a vocabulary change may be in order — preferably to the term project based inquiry.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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