Connected education

Project Based Learning

Originating from the practices and works of the American educator John Dewey, Project Based Learning is an active educational methodology that has the student at the center of the pedagogical process. In other words, it is the student who leads the learning process, having his peers and teachers as mediators participating in the construction of knowledge.

In the classroom, it is common to use the construction of didactic projects, in which students construct answers to their research questions. However, Project Based Learning necessarily requires critical thinking, problem-solving skills, collaboration, and multiple communication tools, in fact taking on and integrating the initiative as a curricular strategy. Instead of referencing or testing certain components or knowledge, PBL assumes itself as a reference for the construction of certain knowledge, in which students, in collaboration, will propose, test, and build solutions or answers to problem situations.

According to recent research, the use of Project Based Learning makes students have a better understanding of what they have studied, retaining the information and knowledge learned for a longer time, even presenting itself as a more effective pedagogical tool than traditional methods of teaching mathematics, economics, languages, science, and other subjects. Studies indicate that students who have lived PBL experiences have better results on standardized tests and external assessments, and greater problem-solving skills, being able to apply them in real-life scenarios, in addition to qualifying their collaboration and conflict resolution skills.

Evidence also indicates that Project Based Learning is an interesting strategy to address inequities in educational systems, working in different types of schools and learning contexts and driving systemic changes in school organization and management with a focus on student protagonism and appreciation. teachers, who are more motivated and integrated into the community context and the needs of their class.

Project Based Learning: key points of the methodology

To support the classification and identification of projects that follow the methodology, the Buck Institute for Education, an American organization of continuing education for teachers focused on PBL and one of the main references on the subject for schools, indicates seven central criteria that should compose the initiatives:

  • Problem-question or challenge to be faced or answered;
  • Scientifically supported research;
  • Authenticity;
  • Student voice and choice;
  • Reflection;
  • Criticism and review;
  • A public product.

The proposal is for students to be authors and protagonists of the process, making use of multiple tools of investigation, experimentation, and scientific validation to create critical and authentic solutions to problems or issues that affect them or afflict their communities, presenting their conclusions publicly, recognizing the advances achieved and challenges still present.