According to PBL Works, Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. Instead of short term memorization, PBL provides students with an opportunity to experience “real” learning that solves real issues. Along the project journey, students learn a number of valuable skills that are critical to future success.
This program year, our Specialists will be immersed in PBL. Specialists will use PBL with their youth, addressing a real life issue, “The Labor Shortage.” Students will be given “voice and choice” so that they can select the industry that interests them. They will be asked to analyze how the labor shortage is affecting their chosen path. Students will identify a local company in that industry, work to help them understand the problem and develop suggestions to solve the issue. As part of the assignment, students will create a marketing/recruitment campaign for that employer and essentially, they will be learning how to recruit themselves into a position that they find interesting. During the assignment, participants will be developing their resume, cover letter, interview questions and everything they’ll need to be prepared to get the job they desire.
PBL has an impact on both learning and engagement. When students are given a real task that has real consequences and connects to their own lives, engagement increases. Students see a purpose for their learning and get the opportunity to apply it in real-time. When students are engaged, they attend school more regularly and therefore improve their educational outcomes. When students engage in learning experiences that are relevant to the world around them, education becomes more meaningful. When education is more meaningful and engaging, students’ attitudes about learning improve. They build confidence and long-term retention is increased because the content connects to something that is relevant to them. It’s a virtuous cycle of learning.
Youth Solutions has a variety of programs that serve youth throughout Michigan. Learn more about how Youth Solutions can help your students get engaged and even excited about their education. Go to www.OurYouthSolutions.org.