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Principal: Common Core and Project-Based Learning Go Hand-in-Hand

Principal: Common Core and Project-Based Learning Go Hand-in-Hand

Tyler Graff is a principal who believes that project-based learning is the best way for students to learn and meet Common Core standards and shares with EdSource why.

According to Graff, project-based learning engages students and helps them retain information on a deeper level than mere spoken instruction.

"When done well, it helps students with the soft skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking that many colleges and employers are looking for. Students are able to comprehend, apply, and retain the content knowledge taught while developing the 21st Century Skills that the Common Core Standards ask of teachers and students," he said, according to EdSource.

Because Common Core standards require students to think on a more critical level and to analyze information more carefully than before, Graff says the interaction between students and project help do just that.

"In project-based learning, students need to research, read, take notes, and synthesize information, exactly what the Common Core asks students to do. In both cases, students need to think critically about and apply knowledge from their learning. This happens in both language arts and mathematics," he said, according to the article.

Graff encourages teachers to make the switch to project-based learning, but urges them to spend time training to take on the endeavor first to ensure a high-quality effort.

"...a group of teachers interested in implementing project-based learning might do a multi-day training looking at the entire scope and sequence of a project by experiencing one themselves. From there, they’d spend time learning about how to create a culture of critique in the classroom, how to successfully facilitate group work, student presentations, and more," he said.

He also advises schools interested in the learning style to take their time and start small while letting teachers get comfortable in experimenting.

"At our elementary school, we decided to do a school-wide roll out (14 classrooms) of one project per year for the first three years...Depending on the staff culture, it might be smart to have a grade level or group of teachers pilot project-based learning for a year or two before moving to a whole scale approach."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/07/2015

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