Project based learning (PBL) is very different from just engaging in a project at the end of every curriculum unit. Luckily for educators there are tech tools that can enhance project-based learning to help create a more engaging experience throughout a unit. However, one of the most interesting trends that educators are now exploring is the idea of personalizing PBL for different learners. Authentic learning is the key to helping students develop both intrapersonal competencies and interpersonal competencies. According to educational research, in order for learning to be authentic, it must be student-directed and collaborative; furthermore, it must be based on real life problems and engage higher level critical thinking skills.
True project based learning can happen no matter what age group is being taught. Check out the below video that showcases five year olds in Auburn, Alabama, engaging in PBL with comprehensive projects that not only develop social and emotional skills, but also encourage lifelong learning and curiosity.
This shift can happen for any age group, in any school system, if teachers are supported to champion this type of learning environment. As opposed to creating barriers for our educators, is it time to begin celebrating immersive learning environments that encourage real life skills for students? Is it time to allow educators to break free from standard, one-size-fits-all curriculum in order to allow for personalized and authentic learning moments in a primary learning space?