At Cumberland, we've adopted Project Based Learning as a key initiative to support
Cumberland's mission to "develop globally aware learners who are compassionate problem
solvers and leaders." 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 a complex
question, problem, or challenge. This method addresses the Common Core standards which
emphasize real-world application of knowledge and skills, builds 21st century skills as needed for college, career, and life, and provides opportunities for students to use technology. In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project Design Elements include:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.