Why you need to explore project-based learning now!
Article written by Amanda Kramer
Are you an innovative teacher searching for your next classroom upgrade? Are you an administrator looking for a fresh, engaging approach to learning in your school? Are you searching for a way to include sustainability? Then join us in building a new learning environment that follows this simple and powerful learning equation: PBL + Sustainability = great teachers and empowered students!
Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered environment in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving real-life problems related to it.
Research shows that PBL has a highly positive impact on students. With PBL students are more engaged in learning, leading them to deeper learning outcomes and increased ownership in their learning. By exposing students to real-life problems, PBl also leads to an increased sense of purpose and empowerment. They additionally develop since an early age on-demand skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking.
Project-based learning not only brings a positive impact on students. It also has demonstrated to bring great benefits for schools and teachers who take the risk of fully embracing and implementing this way of learning.
Teachers who have created and successfully implemented PBL environments in their classrooms have built deep, rewarding and valuable relationships with their students. Furthermore, these pioneering teachers have realized how by adopting PBL methods the role of the teacher shifts from being a communicator of knowledge to a facilitator of learning.
However, there is another part of the equation that is seldom mentioned when discussing teaching through projects... sustainable development. PBL methods on their own, without an underlying topic, can lead to countless learning outcomes, spanning through a variety of topics. This increases the chances of losing control of the projects that students undertake and may jeopardize the whole purpose of learning.
One way to mitigate this risk is by including sustainable development as the underlying topic of their students’ projects. Sustainability is a very comprehensive and interdisciplinary topic that spreads its wings through all imaginable subjects. It refers to a state in which our social, environmental and economic resources are used in a way that satisfy current global and individual needs, and ensure the availability of these resources in the future. You can check out the A.C.T.I.O.N. Method created by Virescent Inspiration.
Sustainable development is composed by three main categories that synergize together: social development, environmental protection, and economic growth. The United Nations has even developed a framework called the Global Goals that breaks down sustainable development into 17 different goals and a time frame to achieve them: Year 2030.
Within each of these seventeen goals, there are social, environmental and economic implications that may be addressed through different subjects. From math to science, to language, to arts, to technology and design, to physical education, to social sciences, etc. sustainable development can be the underlying topic that binds together the projects that students undertake.
This kind of learning environment in which sustainability is addressed through PBL in each and every subject is the kind of environment in which the leaders of tomorrow should learn. When all the benefits of PBL are directed towards learning about the most pressing needs that our world faces at present, sustainable development, then the learning equation is complete!
We want to invite every educator in every country to join the adventure at Virescent Inspiration. Together, we can build this new learning environment, help prepare teachers to become facilitators of learning for sustainable development, and raise skilled and empowered citizens who are convinced and committed to work for a sustainable world!