An Overview of Project-Based Learning Practices Within the Context of 21st Century Skills

An Overview of Project-Based Learning Practices Within the Context of 21st Century Skills

Cennet Göloğlu Demir (Bandirma Onyedi Eylul University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3146-4.ch003


This chapter develops an accurate understanding for project-based learning approach by examining the definitions, theoretical foundations, and historical process of the approach. It also aimed to, within the framework of this understanding, present the implementation stages and effectiveness of the approach as well as its interaction with the other methods in recent years. In this context, first, different definitions of project-based learning were examined, and then how it evolved into an approach from a concept in its historical development process was addressed. Implementation stages of project-based learning were reported as presented by different researchers. The standards set out due to the diversity experienced in implementation were associated with these steps.
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General Characteristics Of Project Based Learning

When a search is made in Google search engine for “project-based learning” in August 2019, 18.300.000 results are shown. In their book, Larmer, Mergendoller and Boss (2015) stated that this result was over 3,000,000. This high increase over a period of approximately 4 years shows that the project-based learning approach has been a topic of interest for effective education in recent years. On the other hand, project-based learning, which becomes increasingly more popular, faces a “quality” problem with respect to poorly planned practices, different forms of implementation etc. (Larmer, Mergendoller and Boss, 2015). Bender (2012) stated that educators would recommend project-based learning approach as an innovative approach in the next century. The Buck Institute for Education (BIE) has played a central role in the development of the project-based learning approach for the last 20 years. It conducts studies on shaping and defining project-based learning practices. When the relevant literature is examined, it is seen that different definitions have been made about project based learning and it has undergone a controversial historical process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

21st Century Skills: The skills that enable students to keep up with the changes and transformations in response to global developments.

Project: The project is a product such as a report, an action, a service, a model which includes cognitive, social, affective and psychomotor learnings and skills and comes out of a real-life problem-solving process.

Project-Based Teaching: Project-based learning approach is considered as a teaching method and addressed by perspective of teachers.

Standards of Project Based Learning: Standards that regulate design and implementation of project-based learning approach in terms of roles of the students and teachers’ tasks.

Project-Based Learning: Project-based learning is an approach which is designed and implemented in line with specific standards with the aim of ensuring multilateral developments of learners in cognitive (academic success, high level thinking skills), affective (attitude, motivation, competence belief etc.) and social (cooperation and communication) domains. It is a student-centred process which starts with real life and ends with final product through teacher guidance.

Stages of Project-Based Learning: Stages that help make effective planning in project based learning approach.

Project-Based Learning Stage-Standart Check List: A checklist which links the stages of the project-based learning approach with its standards. It should be prepared by the practitioners at the beginning of the process and used at the end of the process.

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