A Framework for Educational Success
The realm of education is one that is constantly changing to meet students’ evolving needs in a complex world. As an integral part of this change comes an array of current trends that have emerged and are leading the way. For example, a focus on increased collaboration is hugely prevalent since technology has made it possible for everyone to stay connected, whether in the classroom or at home. “Microlearning,” a term that describes lessons being broken up into bite-sized chunks and repeated over time, is a trend that has been gaining momentum. Perhaps most apparent is the trend of online learning, which has become part of everyday life for many.
Added to this mix of top trends is project-based learning (PBL), an important instructional approach that enables students to master academic skills and content knowledge, develop skills necessary for future success and build the personal abilities needed to tackle challenges throughout life. When PBL is part of a curriculum, students learn through active engagement in real-world and meaningful projects and incorporate high-quality experiences into the school day. Ultimately, the result is that PBL inspires students with a love of learning, a personal connection to their academic experience and a better learning outcome.
Joe Ito, who directs the MIT Media Lab, states, “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking over jobs that don’t require as much creativity. We know project-based learning is more effective than textbook-based learning.” In short, projects are an easy way to engage students in authentic challenges; however, delivering all of the possible benefits requires well-constructed, sustained and supported experiences. That’s where the Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning (HQPBL) comes in—a guidepost for describing what high-quality PBL student experiences are. The HQPBL framework was developed to help teachers better prepare young people to contribute in the innovation economy. As Niamh Dwyer, a mathematics and business teacher at Assumption Secondary School, puts it, “Project management has impacted me as a professional as it provides a structure to my planning and encourages me to reflect on my own teaching.”
The HQPBL Framework requires that each of the following criteria must be present and implemented in a high-quality, memorable manner:
- Intellectual Challenge and Accomplishment—Students learn deeply, think critically and strive for excellence.
- Authenticity—Students work on projects that are meaningful and relevant to their culture, their lives and their future.
- Public Product—Students’ work is publicly displayed, discussed and critiqued.
- Collaboration—Students collaborate with other students in person or online and/or receive guidance from adult mentors and experts.
- Project Management—Students use a project management process that enables them to proceed effectively from project initiation to completion.
- Reflection—Students reflect on their work and their learning throughout the project.
Learn more about how teachers around the world are using the HQPBL Framework to strengthen their instruction in this short video, entitled “PMIEF Grants Bring Outstanding Organizations Together to Empower Teachers.” Get a glimpse of how the HQPBL Framework has evolved and showcases how it can help students achieve success in their future endeavors.