Why Project-Based Learning?

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At Bennett, our students learn by doing through dynamic, project-based learning (PBL) experiences. Why do we use this approach? Here are 5 reasons:
  1. Learning is driven by student interests, which helps them connect to the world in authentic, relevant, and meaningful ways.
  2. The focus on process and overcoming challenges cultivates a growth mindset and adaptability.
  3. Students work together as a team, which develops social-emotional skills like collaboration, conflict resolution, and communication.
  4. Cross-disciplinary exploration gives learners the opportunity to apply their knowledge across disciplines in a manner that mimics the skills necessary to be an effective citizen of the world.
  5. Students dive deep into "real-world" problems, which naturally builds social consciousness and responsibility.

Our approach to PBL changes in complexity as a student moves through our program. In our Early Childhood classrooms, project work is emergent and balances student interest and careful observation. In our Middle and Upper School grades, the approach to project work balances competency coverage and student inquiry.

These two gold-standard studies provide compelling evidence that project-based learning leads to better outcomes for all students—including historically marginalized ones.

PBL

A project-based learning environment not only emphasizes subject-based skills, but also gives learners the opportunity to apply them across disciplines in a manner that mimics the skills necessary to be an effective citizen of the world. PBL provides:

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Cross-Disciplinary Exploration

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Real-World Assessment

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Social Responsibility and Equity

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Student Voice and Choice

Bennett Day's PBL is based on the Buck Institute for Education's "High Quality PBL Framework." The Buck Institute has been a leader in rigorous educational models for over 35 years. You can read all about the framework on their site, which is located here.