Foundations of Education


Introduces project-based learning, an instructional approach which is rooted in the inquiry learning philosophy.

Graded Tasks

  • prepare for your seminar this week

Project-based Learning

Watch the video below which introduces project-based learning (PBL). The video focuses on five key PBL principles: real world, core to learning, collaboration, student driven, and assessment:

Project-based Learning: A Definition

CREDIT: The text below is adapted from the course developer's website.
Project-based learning empowers learners to collaborate in teams, mentored by their teachers, as they research real-world questions, pose solutions to real-world problems, and design real-world products in a rigorous way.

Empowers: Project-based learning shifts the locus of control over learning from teacher to student. Students are empowered to make meaningful choices related to the projects they undertake.

Learners: Project-based learning reconceptualizes 'students' as 'learners' who are naturally curious and inquisitive. Both qualities serve as driving motivators, especially for student initiated projects.

To collaborate in teams: Project-based learning emphasizes collaboration and teamwork. Both skills are central to 21st century citizenship. (They are also highly sought after by employers.)

Mentored by their teachers: Project-based learning recasts teachers as project facilitators and supervisors, who support the work of project teams, but who also set high standards for that project work. Teachers provide full classes and small groups of students with just-in-time instruction that helps students achieve their project goals.

As they research real-world questions: Project-based learning privileges learning which is connected to real-world contexts and which draws its influence from real-world questions that professionals also seek to answer. Projects help bridge the gulf between 'school' and what happens in the 'real world' outside of school.

Pose solutions to real-world problems: Some project teams aim to help solve a pressing social or scientific problem. Such projects are often driven by a problematic situation which the project team feels compelled to address.

And design real-world products: Some project teams aim to design and build a real-world product or prototype that fulfills a certain need. Such products may be physical or virtual entities.

In a rigorous way: Project topics are typically standards-based and closely tied to the curriculum. Accountability measures that help ensure high standards are built directly into the expectations for projects. Student teams regularly report their progress to the teacher and submit interim work for formative assessment.
📌 Do you see the influence of the 'education for disciplinary initiation' philosophy - with its emphasis on intellectual and academic 'rigour' - on the final project-based learning principle listed above? The inclusion of this principle by project-based learning advocates is purposeful. It shows how one educational philosophy (disciplinary initiation) can influence another educational philosophy (inquiry learning).

School Project Memories

In preparation for your seminar this week, write out an answer to the following question. Your TA may call on you to share your answer in the seminar:
Q22.5: Think back to the projects you completed in elementary and/or secondary school. Pick one that was especially meaningful to you. Briefly summarize the project and indicate why it was so memorable to you, even after all these years. (Answer Length: 100 - 125 words | Format: Sentences)
Potential Seminar Question