Learning by Doing: PBL Institute has Something for Everyone
Thinking of skipping the upcoming Project-Based Learning Institute because you think it’s only for “techies?” You couldn't be more wrong.
Many people instantly associate the words “project-based learning” with the New Tech model. However, the revolutionary teaching methodology is applicable to all classroom environments, including those in Early College High Schools.
Project-based learning’s collaborative, inquiry-based approach is one that engages all students in 21st-century and critical-thinking skills development—traits that are essential for postsecondary success.
“Project-based learning is now the preferred method of teaching for all classrooms,” Joy Seybold, transition to teaching coordinator for the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI, said. “Research shows that PBL’s hands-on approach creates more relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for students.”
This summer’s Project-Based Learning Institute is the prime opportunity for Early College administrators and educators to get acquainted with this innovative methodology. Hosted from June 28-July 1 at Ben Davis High School, the rigorous Institute consists of a variety of activities that will model the entire project-based learning and teaching process from start to finish. The overall goal is for participants to walk away with the ability to independently create project-based learning units for their individual classrooms and schools.
“We want the Institute to be a practitioner-based experience that enables participants to walk away with at least the skeleton of project-based units for their own schools and classrooms,” Seybold said. “It’s also a great opportunity for professional development and networking.”
“The very first day will be spent taking new participants through all the steps of project-based learning,” Seybold said. “That way on subsequent days, all participants will have a common language and a general understanding of the key components and processes for creating project-based learning units.”
Throughout the Institute, participants will attend “mini-lessons” led by seasoned project-based learning professionals, including Alfred Solis of the Buck Institute for Education.
“The Buck Institute for Education composed the official handbook on project-based learning,” Lupold said. “Participants actually will have the opportunity to work through the book with some of the nation’s best project-based learning experts.
At the conclusion of the Institute, participants will present authentic project-based learning units created in their content-area or school-based teams.
“We encourage school districts to send teams of participants because that is most likely how administrators and educators will actually work,” Lupold said. “The purpose is to move them toward creating projects that can be implemented across the entire school.”
For administrators and educators interested in strongly impacting student achievement, attending this summer’s Project-Based Learning Institute should be a priority.
“This Institute is for teachers who genuinely want to engage students in learning,” Seybold said. “Project-based learning helps students gain the skills they need while facilitating increased student ownership, choice and responsibility.”