That was my question this week, and it turns out that it was not completely what I thought it was. Unfortunately, project-based learning (PBL) is something that I have read a little about (mainly on Pinterest) but have not done much research into. However, after a few days of reading and research, I truly think the PBL is something that would work in my 7th grade English class.
This week, in particular, I researched the difference between project-based learning and problem-based learning. While there are not huge differences, the differences are stark enough to separate the two. Here’s my discussion of the two. Authenticity seems to be the key dividing factor. Project-based learning builds on real-world tasks/problems, and problem-based learning utilizes a fictitious scenario. That being said, project-based learning would, I think, work better for middle school, because this age student asks “why” about as much as four and five-year-olds. The added relevance would really motivate students to investigate and discuss, inside and outside of the classroom.
In my discussion this week, I also discussed the driving question and its importance to the project as a whole. While I still do not know as much as I would like about crafting a driving question, I think that its precision and detail are crucial to the success of a project. As a project’s catalyst, this question acts as the compass for the entire project, determining its focus, authenticity, and skill development.