In recent times people have been more vocal about expressing their dissatisfaction regarding the Indian education system. Owing to many reasons stemming from most HEIs following the same teaching mechanisms and normalising rote learning. As a result, most students might be able to score average to high marks in their examinations but lag in terms of developing skills. Moreover, they do not get the scope to broaden their individuality; hence, most follow in their peers’ footsteps careerwise.
However, with the expansion of globalisation, the education sector became aware of the global educational trends. It also recognised the need to introduce fundamental changes in administration and teaching strategies. Hence, the old-fashioned passive learning method became redundant and insignificant; the teaching and learning methods focused on helping students polish a few fundamental skills via strategies like project-based learning.
What is project-based learning?
Project-based learning is an instructional pedagogy which employs student-centric methods to engage students in the classroom. Also, through this strategy, teachers create a dynamic classroom environment where they encourage students to ask questions and take part in debates and discussions.
Furthermore, through this approach, students learn to become independent workers and work efficiently in a group during a particular group task. On the other hand, it helps teachers to observe students’ performance individually and determine the strengths and weaknesses of learners.
Some PBL ideas to implement in the classroom are as follows:
‘’I hate maths’’- is a common statement of many children and young adults mainly due to the complicated processes of solving particular maths problems. However, if teachers use web applications and online tools to gamify various maths topics, it can simplify the difficult subject. For example, they can assign students to play maths-related adventure games, wherein they need to add, subtract or multiply.
Similarly, students can engage in epic maths battles, wherein they need to complete a certain series of tasks or answer questions prepared by teachers. At the same time, when the students are playing, teachers can see the student data on the teachers’ dashboard.
Assign tasks that encourage them to research
The first World War happened on 28 July 1914 and continued for the next four years- why did the war take place, who was responsible for it, and was it possible to evade the war. These are excellent examples of questions you could ask to explore and find answers for. Hence, the ideal strategy is to not just teach a lesson in history but to give the learners an opportunity to ask questions and find probable solutions to the problems. This helps to develop their analytical skill and propels them to do independent research. They can apply the same strategy to any other subject as well.
Explore the history of inventions with interesting activities
Students of today’s generation are tech-savvy and have everything at the mere touch of a fingertip; hence it would be interesting for them to trace back the origins of the most advanced tools. Teachers can assign the task in groups or pairs of two; the students could participate in exploring how ancient machines are still present in modern-day science and engineering.
For example, they can explore the use of a tool as simple as a wheel, how people used in ancient times and how people use it now. Similarly, they can research the use of pulley, lever and wedge in older times versus their use in present-day engineering. Finally, they can create a video presentation explaining the evolution of primitive tools over the millennia and how they are still used in different forms.
Encourage and plan fun activities.
One of the most exciting ways to teach is by integrating interactive activities such as play or drama; teachers can divide the class into groups, and each should carry out different tasks. For example, one group can write the script, while another group can plan accordingly and choose characters to play. Ultimately, this will help them advance in terms of creative skills and learn in a fun way.
Furthermore, they can conduct court proceedings, drama, debate or open discussions, leading to healthy and dynamic knowledge-sharing.
Emphasis on individuality
What are the top in-demand professions that Indian parents want their children to follow in the future?
Every student and parent knows the answer to that question, and quite understandably, parents are right in directing their kids towards studying hard to secure a stable future. But in the race to compete with their peers to score high marks, students don’t get the time to explore their inherent skills and talent.
However, this can change greatly if the teachers work with the institute to arrange certain projects and co-scholastic events. For example, they could ask students to prepare a business plan with a complete plan of action and elaborate strategies. Likewise, they can ask students to prepare a podcast where they can speak about anything they are good at. Also, they can interview people from various fields and collect valuable information on any topic.
Consequently, it will enable students to focus on their strengths and deliver the task at hand; they will also get the chance to explore what they are really good at.
Using PBL to teach about the real-world problems
PBL does not merely focus on making the classroom experience interesting for students; it also focuses on imparting knowledge and skills. Teachers can assign activities wherein students would require to research real-world problems. They can start with their locality; they can talk to the people living in the area regarding the significant issues they are facing and report on that.
Gradually, they can expand the scope of their report from a particular area to district and state. Consequently, teachers can ensure that students thinking skills grow while achieving their learning outcomes in sync with the curriculum.
Project-based learning is a distinguished teaching strategy teachers can use to teach and enhance major 21st-century skills such as communication and cross-cultural understanding. With the help of various activities, teachers can facilitate the wholesome development of the learners.