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Project-Based Approach in School Settings Essay

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Updated: Jan 19th, 2021

Project-based approach has been regarded as an indispensable element of teaching in the USA as well as many other countries. This paradigm interests me immensely as I intend to exploit it in my career. I would like to add that I have understood advantages of this approach when I was a pupil as I loved working on projects. Clearly, at present, I have to focus on the other side of project-based learning. It is essential to provide proper instructions and supervise the process accordingly (Arthur et al. 380). This is the terrain that presents a great number of opinions and opportunities.

As has been mentioned above, I have understood merits of the use of projects in the middle school. However, I used to have doubts that young children could benefit from this approach as well. Now, I see that projects have to be incorporated in the curriculum in first grades. It is noteworthy that Helm and Katz provide a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the approach. For me, the book has become a background for my further research on the matter. The authors stress that the process consists of several stages that have to be thoroughly planned and carried out by the teacher (Helm and Katz 12). There is extensive research on the matter and it has been proven that first-graders as well as preschoolers benefit from the use of projects (Mitchell et al. 339). Notably, projects can be classroom-based, and they may be extended to reach the community (Twigg and Garvis 195).

The book provides insights into each element of the approach including a detailed account of the phases of the process. Notably, many researchers focus on the development of particular strategies applicable during each stage. Clearly, preparation can be quite challenging as it is crucial to take into account students’ needs, interests and backgrounds (Beneke and Ostrosky). The second phase is the period when students discover answers to their questions. They can find the necessary information during field trips. Importantly, the teacher has to make sure that students acquire the necessary representation skills that include (but are not confined to) drawing, making models, dramatic play, collages, painting, block building (Kogan and Pin). Of course, effective completion is also vital as it develops students’ interest to other projects as well as their desire to achieve academic goals in the future. I understood that the culminating event or activity was essential, but I never thought of the importance of analysis of the whole project, or rather I did not pay attention to this part. Importantly, the approach is especially effective when it comes to diverse classes (Beneke and Ostrosky). Therefore, it is applicable and desirable in the contemporary US classrooms as diversity is one of the primary characteristics of US students.

It is also important to add that parents should take an active part in the process (Helm and Katz 6). The teacher has to provide parents with the necessary instructions and encourage them to get involved as they often erroneously think that they should not participate in their children’s learning. I have always tried to make parents involved and the work on projects will be one of the central ways to do this in my teaching.

In conclusion, I would like to note that the project-based approach is an effective way to achieve numerous teaching goals. I will employ it in my teaching. I will pay specific attention to the third phase. I will also try to utilize classroom-based as well as community-based projects.

Works Cited

Arthur, Leonie, Bronwyn Beecher, Elizabeth Death, Sue Farmer, and Susan Dockett. Programming and Planning in Early Childhood Settings. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia, 2014. Print.

Beneke, Sallee, & Michaelene M. Ostrosky. “Teachers’ Views of the Efficacy of Incorporating the Project Approach into Classroom Practice with Diverse Learners.” Early Childhood Research & Practice. 11.1 (2009). Web.

Helm, Judy Harris, and Lillian G. Katz. Young Investigators: The Project Approach in the Yearly Years. New York: Teachers College Press, 2010. Print.

Kogan, Yvonne, and Josefina Pin. “Beginning the Journey: The Project Approach with Toddlers.” Early Childhood Research & Practice. 11.1 (2009). Web.

Mitchell, Sascha, Teresa S. Foulger, Keith Wetzel, and Chris Rathkey. “The Negotiated Project Approach: Project-Based Learning without Leaving the Standards Behind.” Early Childhood Education Journal 36.1 (2009): 339-346. Print.

Twigg, Danielle, and Susanne Garvis. “Exploring Art in Early Childhood Education.” The International Journal of Arts in Society 5.2 (2010): 193-204. Print.

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