PBL @Austin Elementary

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning in a Nutshell

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method that gives learners an authentic real-world problem to solve, an engaging question to investigate, or a design challenge with something concrete to create. Building upon our work with Schoolwide Enrichment Clusters, PBL will enhance our transformation by providing learners choice and voice in their learning as they pursue solutions to relevant, real-world problems. PBL provides a framework for mastering state standards and 21st century skills within a context that is more meaningful to learners than traditional learning. Throughout the course of a lesson, which can range from one week to several, learners develop critical thinking skills while delving deep into the academic content. Projects often result in a physical model or written report, but the true end result is a further understanding of the driving question and content.


Above And Beyond

21st Century Skills


Collaboration -- All projects are done in teams, with each learner playing a specific role.

Communication -- Necessary to work together, and also to share the results with teacher/class

Critical Thinking -- Projects/lessons move well beyond computation and basic understanding

Creativity -- Teams are encouraged to develop various and differing solutions. There is no one right answer!


Research Based Learning Outcomes

Studies comparing learning outcomes for students taught via project-based learning versus traditional instruction show that when implemented well, PBL increases long-term retention of content, helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in high-stakes tests, improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and improves students' attitudes towards learning (Strobel & van Barneveld, 2009;Walker & Leary, 2009). PBL can also provide an effective model for whole-school reform (National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, 2004; Newmann & Wehlage, 1995).


Austin PBL Learning

Mr. Hilton

Mrs. Schulz

Mr. Pearson

Mrs. Raney

Mrs. Burton

Ms. Voltz