“There is a substantial body of research confirming that having a concrete problem as the focus for knowledge acquisition helps students retain their learning and comprehend it better.” University of Adelaide
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a module in the Bachelor of Education at the University of Namibia. The module is aimed at engaging students in learning important knowledge and 21st century skills through an extended student influenced inquiry process structured around authentic questions and carefully designed products and learning tasks. In the module, students identify meaningful questions to explore in their school subject areas or engage real-world problems and challenges to solve. The goal is to design or create something for educational purposes that could also use an interdisciplinary approach. Through in-depth investigation, students come up with high quality solutions to real-world educational problems, or design creative products and present their work for evaluation. The solutions and products created are expected to be of practical and/or theoretical relevance to students themselves and other teachers in the relevant fields.
Project-based learning has specific features such as those illustrated in the figure below.
PBL as a learning approach helps students to strengthen their subject content knowledge as well learn the 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking and an opportunity to take charge of their own learning by exercising their choice and voice in the learning process being driven by their need to know.
Teaching in the 21st century puts a special requirements on teachers. They need a particular set of skills for them to be able to effect instructional approaches and pedagogy that supports and prepares their students better for the demands and expectations of the future. Hence 21st century pedagogy.