Project-based Learning Approach
Coming to 21st century generation, education is one of the most notable support for children which evolving and constantly moving forward. Project Based Learning (PBL) is used to prepare students from the 21st century challenges, to work on a real problem and solve the it directly using their analytical and practical skill, with a product or presentation as an end-result of the project. Throughout the project, children are expected to work on the project during a period of time given by the facilitators.
Moreover, PBL is suitable for our community class in the spirit of alternative education as it indulges critical thinking, creativity and communication skill as supplementary skills for their education. These skills are important for the children to prepare themselves in further steps of being digital natives and more challenge in the real world. Furthermore, we come to realization that skills connected to real life is a prominent skill, as a matter of fact, not many practicalities of formal education have come to this main issue yet. Adjusting to our time limit in the community class, PBL is conducted once a week in each of our river school with additional meetings based on their own need assisted by volunteer in charge. Thus, through the PBL we conducted in river school attended by variety range of children age group, we attempt to spark curiosity and implement the trial of Project Based Learning, as children in our community is bounded with formal school and formal way of thinking in which teacher teacher play important role as the “story teller”. It needs certain amount of time to indulge and even sparks curiosity of the children.
The children are given chance to design their own project assisted by the volunteer. Afterwards, the volunteer is the one whose responsible to decide whether the team need extra meeting and project the sustainability of the project. Seeing the format of the project, not to mention the volunteer responsibility, PBL in our community indeed rely mostly on our volunteer as children still need guidance from the volunteer. Working with this new format, indeed give the team special challenge during the process. it is becoming a greater challenge to introduce this type of learning to our children in the community class, as it does need bigger involvements from the children, not to mention initiating the project which ideally comes from the students. These traits of working with the new format are varied from adjusting to different setting of community class, designing the project framework, adding extra meeting for some groups in PBL, etc.
In addition, the current PBL running in our program certainly need further assessment and improvement in many parts. Most importantly, the presence of facilitators which is volunteers are also taken into consideration. The well-trained facilitators in the field are our major approach towards the children and their project. Thus, working hand in hand with facilitators to record the documentations of each project and track the progress, is becoming our major concern at the first place. Lastly, we are putting more effort in equipping the team with sufficient knowledge of PBL by doing some research and learn from various sources.