Project Based Learning: A new tool for teachers

Photo+by+Kylee+McFarland.+Seniors+learning+about+college+in+the+schools+library.+

Photo by Kylee McFarland. Seniors learning about college in the school’s library.

Kylee McFarland

BY KYLEE MCFARLAND (‘18)

Project Based Learning (PBL) is something the district office has been discussing and meeting regularly while teachers have been training with a company from Columbus for about five years.

Each teacher has the freedom of creating their own projects for students to complete, according to Principal Matt Durst

“This is a year of adjustment, where if teachers or students do not like an aspect of their projects, they can make changes the following year,” Durst said.“As long as students are growing and learning it’s a win.”

Students have been formally introduced by some teachers to the new idea already, and everyone will be familiar with it by the end of the year.

“I believe it is a beneficial program and could be a lot of fun depending on the project,” said Rosie Lamb.

Every teacher is expected to assign at least one project throughout the year. The styles and ideas will differ between teachers as they will be on different subjects. English and Social Studies teacher Dana Decker shared her own approach to the new plan.

“Group mentality is important because one brain can only do so much,” Decker said. “Three brains working together can make magic happen.”

One project she assigns allows groups to teach the class about genocide. She is still modifying it so her students can get the best learning experience possible.  

“The first year I wasn’t able to grade each group member individually, the second year I could assess each individual, but it was too fact based and this year I’m trying to get my students to focus more on the human aspect,” Decker said. “What life was like for those people.”

The first year is meant to be used by teachers to test new projects and figure out which ones will benefit their students the most. PBL is intended to help students grow over their years in the school system and will affect all kids who pass through.