Muskegon Christian School

Project Based Learning

2nd graders give feedback on 1st draft of other students work based on rubric.

Does the idea of projects coming home from school fill you with dread?
Are you envisioning your evenings spent with various tools, glues and printouts (mixed with tears)?
If so, you might not be too excited with the concept of Project-Based Learning.

The good news is that Project-Based Learning (PBL) is not anything like the projects of old.



WHY PBL?

PBL requires teacher guidance and team collaboration, so very little project work is done at home.  But that’s just the beginning of the differences.   Project Based Learning model changes the focus from teachers being just 'Information Transferers' to our roles as 'Designers of Experience' centered in our identity in Christ.  Learn more about the PBL approach....

THINK BACK TO WHEN YOU WENT TO SCHOOL....  Many of us found school generally boring.  But do you remember doing an interesting assignment at least once in a while?  Wouldn't it be great if your child could do work like that regularly?  Thing about a time you learned something really well.  Did you just memorize the information, or did you actually have to do something with what you learned?  Employers in a recent study say that they value people who can:

  • Think critically and solve problems
  • work well in teams
  • communicate effectively
  • innovate and be creative
  • take initiative and be responsible

PROJECT BASED LEARNING GIVES STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN THESE THINGS.

We want our students to do Real Work for Real Needs for a Real Audience.  The heart of PBL is a focus on solving problems in creative ways as a part of a community.  Young people are hungry for learning that they find meaningful.  "Project Based learning is a philosophy of education that recognizes our created, purposeful natures.  God has designed each of us with unique gifts that we can use to engage with and learn from our world", says administrator Dan DeKam.  "Research has proven that students involved in PBL enjoy learning and in turn "own" their learning".

WHAT PBL IS AND IS NOT

Project Based Learning is a teaching method that actively engages students in learning by asking them to investigate an interesting and complex question, problem or challenge and create something in response.  Projects may be done individually, in teams or by whole class.  The work should be purposeful and demonstrate complexity, craftsmanship and authenticity. 

What we don't want in PBL is lots of '1st drafts' and mediocrity:  we want students to dig deeper and become masters of a subject using the language of what they have learned.  Learn more about what PBL looks like....

 

An Introduction Event for Mrs. Menefee's Class to critiquing other's work.
Students were given a checklist of features that they needed to include in their story, and worked together in groups to create their version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".