Preconceived Scare-Factors about PBL
In the past year, I've heard the following three preconceived notions about PBL:
I have heard people describe their PBL as having choice boards or menus for student choice; but in actuality, what I hear them describing is differentiated instruction (DI). Sure, DI is in PBL, but that does not make it PBL.
PBL is good for all learners. When PBL is done correctly, it engages the students in their learning. They are motivated by an authentic purpose that peeks their curiosity. Learning is differentiated through product, process, possibly content, choice, etc. Various learning styles are met, and student strengths are nourished. Teachers can work with small groups, and can meet individual needs.
PBL allows students to use their knowledge and understanding in new and creative contexts. By working at Bloom's higher levels of thinking, students retain and remember the lower levels while learning how to problem solve and use critical thinking. Therefore students get more out of PBL than direct instruction or lecture.
PBL does takes teacher planning time and student learning time, but it's time well spent! I notice less reteaching needed because PBL focuses on the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, which allows learners to make connections and explore learning in depth.
This depth and motivation is not something they easily forget, thus they retain their learning. Students actually do better on multiple choice tests because it tests knowledge that they understand at such a high level.
The first steps of PBL are scary, but worth it. If your students are motivated to learn; willing to work harder because of their active engagement; will learn some of the "basics" while moving to the higher levels of Bloom's; and will learn more, then what's stopping you?
- What will make/What made PBL an easier transition for you?
- How does PBL look in your room?
- How do you get ideas and share resources that can be used for PBL?
- What else would you like to add?