March 4, 2021
by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School
Educators are infamous for creating esoteric terms and anachronyms to describe different approaches to teaching and learning. Project-based learning, or PBL, is one such term but should not be confused with problem-based learning, also PBL. Both PBLs are similar, yet different. Debate exists within educational circles as to whether Design Thinking is a more inclusive term for both PBLs. To further complicate matters, some educators prefer the term “inquiry-based learning”. Confused? Ambivalent? Let me try to translate.
Whether described as project, problem, or inquiry-based learning, this form of learning has roots in what John Dewey (American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer who is often referred to as one of the “fathers of American education”) called “progressive education.” Contemporary educational theorists refer to it as a pedagogy (another educational esoteric term that designates an educational method) that “engages students in creating, questioning, and revising knowledge, while developing their skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, reasoning, synthesis, and resilience” (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008). Read More