Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Each young child has different talents and learning styles. There is no shirt for all children. Therefore, we can not take the kids in the same shirt or in other words the teachers can not use the same teaching method for all the students of their classes. This is most clearly demonstrated through Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory.
However, how to develop students’ hidden talents is a matter of concern. So where is the solution to this problem? Project based learning, which encourages different learning styles, will be an appropriate option.
What is Project-based learning?
Project-based learning is a teaching model in which students engage in exploring compelling issues and eventually produce real products. Projects allow for more classroom learning opportunities, varied in subject and scope, and can be organized at different levels. The project places students in various positive roles such as problem solvers, decision-makers, investigators or reporters.
What is an effective learning project?
Learning projects should be linked to practical social issues
A learning project is only really meaningful when it solves a problem in life. If the project is just to answer a textbook question that students can not apply to life, it seems like they have lost their time in vain. Teachers can start their projects from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Through my personal experience, I realize that all the projects that my students have done over the years have linked at least one of these 17 sustainable development goals. Let students realize their responsibility to work together to preserve the life of humanity.
Some of the projects that my students have done:
Global Collaboration – global trend
We live in a flat world, so there is no reason for students not to collaborate with friends around the world when undertaking a learning project. Through global collaboration, students will have a more holistic view of an issue that they are interested in. For example: When my students do a global project We are little volunteers – a project on traffic safety, the students were introduced and encouraged to use other tools like Skype, OneNote, SharePoint, etc. to share their ideas with students from other countries for a better overview of the traffic around the world. Through these projects, in addition to gaining new knowledge, my students have improved their ability to use English, developing 21st century skills such as:
- personal and social responsibility
- planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
- strong communication skills
- cross-cultural understanding
- knowing how and when to use technology
The project needs to involve students with different learning styles
In your classroom, the students are very different in style. Some children learn well when they have music, others learn well when they are active, and some show good learning when they have music. Therefore, when implementing a project, teachers need to think about how all these students are interested in participating. You may be able to give the children the choice of roles, products that fit their personality and interests. For example: brochure, film, dance, song, etc. Only when students feel they are part of the project are they excited to participate.
Technology – an important part of the project
Information technology is not a compulsory element but plays a very important role in any classroom. It has a strong impact when combined with teaching projects. Students can use technology at any stage of the project by gathering information through online surveys, doing products, etc. to link and share their classroom to the world. As a result of the Everyday Kindness project, thanks to technology, my students have connected to more than 42 classes around the globe. Now, my students are confident in using technology in all their classroom activities. I believe they are ready to become a global citizen in the future.