We all want our children to be prepared for the future. However, in this day and age, traditional school does not always guarantee the outcome we desire.
The modern-day workplace requires much more than following directions and meeting deadlines. Instead, employees of today are expected to think outside the box, learn new information quickly, and offer valuable input when working in groups.
Clearly, expecting kids to spend day after day sitting behind a desk, listening to lectures, and following instructions without so much as a thought is not the best way to instill these qualities in young people. How can one learn to solve problems or manage their own time if they are always given the answers before even realizing they are needed? How can a person learn to enjoy learning when they are taught that learning can only be done by listening to a teacher drone on and on and memorizing arbitrary facts?
The answer to these questions is simply that they cannot. Therefore, it is imperative that we as parents and educators find another way to approach the task of educating our children. This is where project-based learning steps in.
Project-based learning offers children the opportunity to explore topics they find interesting and create something with the information they obtain. For students, this adds value to the educational process and gives them a more active role in their schooling. Obviously, children who are given these opportunities are much more likely to be invested in their education, and therefore, their future.
Below we have compiled a list of some of the ways project-based learning can help prepare young students for the workforce of tomorrow.
1. Time Management
Creating and presenting a project on time requires an incredible amount of time management. In order to have an entire project completed by a set date the student must first determine how much time they must invest over all. They must then break that amount of time down further into smaller, more manageable chunks.
This is not a skill we are born with, but by giving students the opportunity to develop these skills over time through a variety of projects, they will be highly prepared for the modern-day workforce. Project-based learning offers a large number of learning opportunities in this area.
2. Organizational Skills
In today's competitive job market, organizational skills are a must-have. Assembling projects helps children understand the importance of organization, both physically and mentally. This is especially true if they are allowed a workspace of their own which they must keep organized. However, it also applies to those who are working in a shared space and are in charge of keeping their thoughts, ideas, and supplies organized on their own.
3. Collaboration Skills
While some projects may be done solo, others are group affairs. This collaboration is a great experience that uses experiences to teach students the skills needed to work as a part of a group. It also gives students the opportunity to see first hand the importance of teamwork, an invaluable lesson when it comes to working in an office as part of a group or running a business.
4. Problem-Solving Skills
Traditional teaching methods require that students obtain information in a very passive manner. Students listening to long, uninteresting lectures is one example of the passive learning that is so prevalent in the traditional school enviroment.
Project-based learning, however, requires pupils to think outside the box and solve problems in new and interesting ways. This type of curriculum demands that the student take an active role in their education, making it impossible for the child to stand idly by as their school days pass them by.
Good problem solving skills are something every employer wants to see in an employee. They are also something every savvy business owner possesses. Therefore, these skills are something every child should be given opportunity to fine tune. Luckily, project-based learning does just that.
In the same vein as the time management skills listed above, the ability to break any task down into manageable steps in order to decide what to do next is a highly important skill that every school should help students obtain. Having the drive to accomplish those tasks is even more important. Together, these two skills join forces and create and individual with incredible self direction.
Self-direction is an amazing tool to have when starting a business or attempting to accomplish any large task. When it comes to project-based learning, this skill is acquired when a student must find the proper steps to take in order to present a completed project and execute them in a timely manner. It is then practiced again each time a new project must be completed.
6. Ability to Find Information
Large projects require the creator to put in a good amount of research. Because lecturing and rote memorization are rarely a part of the project-based curriculum, students are required to do this research on their own. This is a very important part of the process, as it helps instill a good sense of how to find useful information. This ability is an amazing asset no matter where a person decides to go in life.
7. Constant State of Learning
Perhaps the most amazing benefit of project-based learning is the true love of learning it helps to instill in students. Because the projects assigned are almost always on topics that interest the student and because they have such an active role in their education, the students of a project-based learning classroom develop a lifelong desire to fill their knowledge tank. This is ideal for learning new skills in order to adapt to ever-changing environments.
As you can see, project-based learning is an amazing alternative to the traditional curriculum, especially when it comes to preparing kids for the future. If you are looking for an amazing gift to give your child, consider giving them the amazing gift of a project-based education.