In the (3) exemplars of project-based learning I noticed that the common thread among the articles and video was the art of textbook meets reality. In all, the circumstances were similar where students were taught a subject and had to experience it by actually participating in an event. The design principles included real life experience, where participants had to learn and earn as well as get graded on their projects.
The roles of the teachers were to teach and reach the students. In order to help the students to succeed in their goals, the teacher had to grasp their lesson plans and present the work as clear and distinct as possible. The students had to follow a similar route. They were responsible for learning the material and putting it into practice. In essence, the teacher became a student (learning process) and the student became a teacher when the educational process began and finished.
These learning experiences increased the student engagement by capturing their cognitive skills and personal interest. Once students became familiar with the process they were taught, some were eager to do the work and see the payoff the followed. In the case of “More Fun Than a Barrel of …Worms?!” students went beyond the call of duty by starting a business and then getting involved with the stock exchange.
The students who designed the school through the Architect project were able to be challenged and judged by experts in that field. They learned praise and the agony of defeat, real life issues based from an educational challenge.
The prize at the end of this educational rainbow is that students as well as teachers will have discovered a skill that will increase their ability to be noticed and become a valued commodity in the 21st century.
My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"