Eye on Education: Useful Research Supports Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning instruction is a very effective tool.
By Stephen Davis
Career Educator and Columnist
I wrote about the challenges of bridging the gap between academic research and public school classroom instruction.
All-too-often, rigorously devised research studies are simply too obtuse and/or narrowly focused to satisfy the day-to-day needs and interests of classroom teachers. Nevertheless, there are several resources available to teachers (and parents) that provide easily digestible summaries of academic research anchored in theory and relevant to classroom practice.
One example is the George Lucas Educational Foundation and its affiliate publication, Edutopia. A quick search of its website offers an expansive menu of topics and resources related to teaching and learning. What I especially like about the George Lucas Educational Foundation is the fact that it supports and collaborates with some of the world’s most eminent education scholars and researchers; yet its publications can be read and understood by practitioners, scholars and the general public.
A recent article in Edutopia touched on a topic near and dear to me, project-based learning. For the better part of my career in higher education I designed my courses, instruction and research agenda around the principles and strategies affiliated with project-based learning. To be clear, project-based learning is not a new idea. Its origins are more than 100 years old. However, its emergence as an instructional strategy in public schools is fairly recent.
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