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Project Based Education

An alternative for academic based education.

What do these people have in common? Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, The Wright Brothers', Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley. They educated themselves with self-motivated projects. Academics was a byproduct that was acquired as needed and at the level needed to achieve their goal. These people were in conflict with classroom education. They succeeded because they discovered their natural talent and built a career based on that discovery. Education that is based on projects is highly motivating and is man's natural learning process. The discovery and opportunity to develop natural talent inspires a productive lifestyle. Project based education can give students that opportunity.

The Project Based Education concept is based on what interests and motivates the student. Because the instructor cannot customize lesson plans for each student, he must implement student responsibility. It becomes the student's responsibility to develop and research projects and develop a plan of action. The instructor acts as a coach or facilitator. Instructors take an interest in students' projects instead of students having to take an interest in topics handed down by administrators.

Today's education system is based on academics and tests are used to gauge progress. A high percent of students are in tune with the current system, but there will always be the 30% who cannot associate classroom instruction with the real world. This is especially true for students with creative minds that are searching for alternatives. Project based education would solve this problem.

Projects require a goal where students must search for a method, acquire skills and knowledge, accept failure and bounce back from it, and keep trying until the goal is achieved. They learn through experiences, more important, they learn how to research and apply knowledge. Success is measured by the complexity of the project and the ability to finish it. This type of education motivates one to learn more about the world we live in while creating a lifetime love to learn. The laws' of nature is the motivator and instructor. Positive self-esteem is one of the many by-products.

There are three types of projects:

Class Motivated - In this case, the instructor initiates the project and sets the goal. Competition type projects are effective. Some students may need to be taught the art of project development before they are assigned to smaller groups.

Team Motivated - A team of 2 to 5 members agree on a common interest project. With teams, the opportunity to share knowledge has a powerful influence on team members. It motivates others to find ways to contribute information or skills. When things go wrong, strong team members can support and encourage the weaker ones. Support from associates is a powerful force. Peer pressure motivates all to excel.

Self-Motivated - Some students are independent, strong-willed and have a natural talent with projects. They might do best on their own.

Projects make it possible to offer a wide verity of subjects, determined by the interest of the students. It becomes the students' responsibility to develop the project with available resources, not the instructor.

With a wide verity of learning environments, a student has greater opportunity to find a project that is in harmony with his natural talent. All teenagers want to learn, be creative and productive, but they need opportunity.

Benefits of Project Base Education

  • Project base education is empowering students to learn, where the instructor is a coach, a facilitator.
  • Projects make it possible to discover one's natural talent and personal interest.
  • Projects make it possible to discover one's learning personality.
  • Projects have a goal that is based on man's desire to be a winner. Self-satisfaction is a powerful motivator.
  • Projects are learning tools that is motivated by curiosity.
  • Projects work with the forces of nature and nature is the instructor.
  • Projects give students opportunity to learn with objects. Not everyone is a literary intellectual.
  • Successful projects are the results of failure and learning to bounce back from it.
  • Projects require a plan, which includes ways to acquire needed knowledge and skills.
  • Projects have all the motor skills that it takes to start and run a business or become a valuable employee, skilled or unskilled.

 

Society must ABANDON the belief that:

  • students must meet a predetermined level of academic standards by a selected age. (everyone is different)
  • students who don't meet those standards are failures. (they aren't)
  • all students can learn in a passive environment. (they can't)
  • a diploma is more valuable than positive self-esteem. (it isn't) In the blue-collar world, employers base hiring on attitudes, not class grades or diplomas.
  • all students can relate classroom studies to real world experiences. (they can't)
  • standardized test measures knowledge and/or potential success level. (it doesn't)
  • number of years spent in classrooms and class grade level determines success level in the real world. (it doesn't)
  • academics must be mastered before other opportunity is offered. (some people learn by doing)
  • teenagers are not mature enough to make decisions that determine their destiny. (give them a chance)

Teenagers Embrace Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Academic based education is designed to remove barriers and promote a productive lifestyle. This is true for a majority of students. For others, academic priority builds barriers that are almost impossible to overcome. Self-fulfilling prophecy has a powerful influence on youth and when they are told they are failures most of their young lives, they believe it and act accordingly. Project based education can give some a second chance.

Learning with Responsibility

Learning with responsibility is the future. Our society is becoming too complex for authority control to be efficient. Leadership cannot comprehend, let alone implement, the wide variety of alternatives available. People with hands-on involvement are the best one's to explore ways to be efficient, but the system has to be organized to allow affected people to take responsibility. This includes students and workplace employees.

There have been many attempts by organizations to implement worker responsibility programs, only to see them fail. They failed because leadership will not give up control and delegate responsibility.  Visit Workplace Motivation

Today, the education system must adapt to the same kind of learning environment that business are adapting to, team responsibility. Teenagers that experience responsibility in high school will be the super efficient leaders of the 21st century. This concept recognizes the fact that there is more to education than academics. More Information

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