What's So Great About Project Based Learning?

I read an interesting article recently that talked about the "Peak Moments" in our learning experiences and how they tend to be things that happen outside of the classroom.  Extra curricular activities such as sports, band, and social events tend to top the memory of peak moments in our K-12 school experience. As a teacher, I have to say this made me a little sad.  We just covered the topic of memory in the STEM ED course I teach, and how memory plays such a huge role in education.  Giving our students learning experience that are engaging and memorable should be a top priority for educators. 

Project Based Learning is one teaching practice that can meet this need. Project Based Learning is a teaching practice that brings real life scenarios to students and allows them to use a variety of skills from many subject areas to solve a problem.  It really is the perfect way to integrate subjects and bring that all important relevance to students.  Research supports that creating these memorable and engaging learning experiences for students pays dividends in so many areas; critical thinking, problem solving skills, collaboration, and memory recall.  

Affording our students the opportunity to apply skills to new situations is the ultimate goal of education.  PBL does just that.  Combining PBL with cooperative groups also allows students to develop communication and collaboration skills, all skills they will need in their future careers.  

I love creating Project Based Learning products and have made quite a few over the years.  Here are a few of my favorites:

What are some "peak moments" that you remember from your learning?  What are some "peak moments" you have created for your students?  Share in the comments below.

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