Why Project Based Learning?

We were finally about to complete our PBL Project! About to hit the finish line and close with a show case of their projects. Let’s celebrate and show what we have learned! This made my stomach turn. I thought, would students be able to explain what they have learned? 

Throughout the project I reflected about how the project was going and how I might make changes if I were to do this project again. I was feeling defeated! I was frustrated because I felt as if students did not grasp the concepts I wanted them to, the project took longer than expected, and I did not anticipate some of the road bumps. Was this project just a waste of time?

But then, my eyes opened wide and my heart felt full when I heard my students excitement and eagerness to explain what they had learned. During their showcase, I overheard a discussion between an observer and my student. The observer said, “ Wow, that’s impressive! What obstacles did you face when creating this?” My student said, “ Well, building the foundation took me many tries, but then I figured out that I just needed a solid foundation for my building.”

It was at this moment that I realized the powerful impact PBL has on our students. They may not have gotten all the concepts I had originally set out to accomplish and though I felt this project needed many improvements, the students learned something valuable. They learned to be problem solvers, they learned to communicate, collaborate, justify and explain. So, I asked myself why PBL?  The answer is simple - because it allowed my students to become problem solvers and be in control of their learning. So, when you are feeling like your project did not go as planned, remember to take a deeper look and seek what is hidden to the eye, because that is where the real learning happens.

Jamie Cove


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