Project Based Learning
Our school curriculum
Project Based Learning (or PBL) is a teaching pedagogy that immerses students in a real-world problem in which they will learn content and essential skills through the process of creating a solution and presenting this solution to an authentic audience. In Project Based Learning students need to ask questions to find the information, understandings and processes they will need to create a solution to the problem.
Teachers engage students in PBL units at least once per year, in Term 3, and their final products and processes are shared with the community at a whole school Exhibition of Learning.
Past topics include but will be different each year:
- How do we know the Earth has changed over time?
- Why is History Important?
- Design and create an animal of your own that has features that will help it to survive in its chosen habitat.
- The science of sound – Make a musical instrument that produces sound.
- What makes a community?
- Clothing Catastrophe
- Old McDonald is retiring. He needs the foundation students to take over the farm! What will they choose to be on their farm?
Why do we want our students to engage with PBL?
To prepare our students for an unknown future. We don’t really know what the jobs of the future will be for our children, (although we do know that STEM professions are currently growing at twice the rate of other careers) but we do know that they will require more higher order thinking skills than previously. Our children will need to be able to analyse, evaluate and create more importantly than remembering, understanding and applying. We know that these lower order thinking skills are being replaced by automated technology – no longer do we need to memorise information – not when we can google the answers in seconds – or “Just ask Siri.” Our students need to know why this is not enough. Information is easily found, but students need the opportunity to learn how to use it successfully. Our world is changing so rapidly that we can’t prepare our kids for something in particular, so we must prepare them for anything! We need to teach students these multi-faceted skills so that they can tackle anything.
The importance of the 21st Century Skills of Communication, Collaboration and Critical & Creative reinforced in the Australian Curriculum general capability of Critical and Creative thinking, which states teachers need to give our students opportunities for:
- Generating ideas and possible solutions
- Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning
- Reflecting on the thinking and processes