Project-based learning increases engagement and understanding
In an interesting article about the benefits of project-based learning, journalist Tara Mathewson says that the methodology boosts student engagement and understanding, as it helps them to take education more seriously and make interdisciplinary connections.
Working with projects for periods of around a month, with real-life situations that make them think and research in different subjects at the same time, students practice important 21st-century skills that will be necessary for their future life. And by studying topics that are actually interesting for them, they are more motivated to learn.
“Students thrive when given choices about what to research for their projects and how to present their learning”, says the article. “Because the projects all have real-world implications, there are natural audiences beyond the school building for the final products, which makes students take their work more seriously.”
As students become more driven, they miss school less, and as a consequence go above and beyond to turn in high-quality work, especially because project-based learning leads to public products, that end up shared with the school, community members and the world.
In the end, according to an interviewed teacher, students who work with projects “have a stronger grasp of the material they learn”, and, because of this, “their understanding goes beyond memorizing facts.”