Project-based learning and problem based learning is one of the most effective student-centered instructional approach. The instruction is carefully constructed and open ended questions are utilized by students and they work together as a team and help each other to find a solution to the problem (Weimer, 2009). I think there are advantages and some risks for both teachers and students in these approaches. For students, for example, activities to find solutions for specific problems might be more enjoyable. Students also might have better understanding of concepts because they are actively involved in the learning process. Additionally, they can apply the skills that they learn through the activities in real life. In terms of class attendance, teachers can utilize these strategies to increase the class participation. They can assign everybody in the class a duty. They can have students study on the problem more. Students and teachers can establish strong communications thanks to these strategies as well (Edutopia, 2007).
On the other hand, when I think of the common core and standardized tests, students are supposed to a lot more topic and responsible to pass the test. For many time, there will not be enough time for such instructional methods like problem based learning. Teachers are also required to cover many topics and they sometimes have to teach concepts superficial, so students do not get deep understanding of it. Also, project based and problem based learning might sometimes require a lot prior experience which majority of the students do not have. From my point of view, I would apply these methods in my future classes, especially for scientific problems. They will have to think about the problem, search for possible solutions and try to find best for the problem. Eventually, they will need to make something by their own. I think that’s why these instructional methods are important and commonly used in today’s educational systems.
Edutopia. (2007). Why is project-based learning important? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-guide-importance
Weimer, M. (2009). Problem-based learning: Benefits and risks. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/problem-based-learning-benefits-and-risks/