Giving Compass' Take:

•  Jodie Brivic, writing for Getting Smart, discusses the best practices for educators who are teaching current events through project-based learning. 

• Why is project-based learning particularly useful for incorporating current events to student instruction? 

• Read more about how to succeed with project-based learning in schools. 

STEM students live in a digital age—an age where they can look up any fact within seconds. Gone is the constant memorization and regurgitation of information. Students now need to know how to practically apply the knowledge that is at their fingertips to be successful in a project-based learning classroom. As a science teacher at The Village School in Houston, my ultimate goal is for my students to see the real-world applications of the curriculum.

Because I am a science teacher, I have my students read scientific news articles to help them understand how school work directly correlates to real problems the world is facing and possible solutions to solve those challenges. A similar approach can be used across subjects.

Project-based learning is so important because it allows inquiry-based instruction, collaboration, and engagement.

Students respond well to seeing topics from their textbooks referenced in published studies. When we start our lesson on the most basic animal—the sponge—many students don’t realize the purpose of studying such a “lifeless” creature.

Every year, we start by reading and analyzing current events, and I instruct my students to research the newest scientific innovations that interest them. After studying these breakthroughs, we identify today’s problems that need to be addressed.  When instructing students to brainstorm a solution to a current event, it’s important to encourage them to:

  • Treat all ideas equally.
  • Get it on paper, don’t overthink, don’t ask questions. Questions come later. 
  • Think big! 

Read the full article about project-based learning by Jodie Brivic at Getting Smart