Project-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of the New Tech Network instructional approach.
In a PBL classroom, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts.
Students aren’t only assessed on their understanding of academic content but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, project-based learning gives students the opportunity to develop the real-life skills required for success in today’s world.
New Tech Network schools also use Problem-based learning. PrBL is a form of inquiry-based instruction used primarily in mathematics that place students in several smaller "problem" scenarios rather than a single, large "Project" scenario. Supported by NCTM and the NSF, much of what makes PBL so successful is present in a PrBL environment, including Entry Events, the Need-to-Know (NTK) process, and student-centered scaffolding.
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