Project-Based Learning (PBL) and New Tech NetworkProject-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of our instructional approach. In PBL, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant to them in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts.
Students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, project based learning gives students the opportunity to develop the real life skills required for success in today’s world.
"The reality is, there isn't anything in the educational experience or background of our learners that has prepared them for this type of experience. In fact, our learners are experiencing what many high school graduates experience when they first go off to college. They are only experiencing it three to four years earlier."
—Betsabe Salcido, Former NTO Principal (The Odessan Magazine, January/February 2012)
New Tech Network schools also use Problem-based learning. PrBL is a form of inquiry-based instruction used primarily in Mathematics that places the students in several smaller Problem scenarios rather than a single, large Project scenario. Supported by NCTM and the NSF, much of what makes PBL so successful is present in a PrBL environment, including Entry Events, the Need-to-Know (NTK) process, and student-centered scaffolding.
*To learn more about PBL in action, check out the Global Project.
*Watch a short video on Project-Based Learning Success, Start-to-Finish.
*Watch an in-depth tutorial video on PBL: Tutorial – What is PBL?.
*When developing an idea for a PBL unit, this rubric can help make sure you cover all the bases
*Read Engaged...Equipped...Empowered on PBL by Debra Howe