How do you explain PBL to families?
The popularity of Project-Based Learning (PBL) has grown significantly with teachers and students, but what about parents? When students walk out of school, do they communicate their excitement about PBL to their families?
Let’s look at some resources for helping parents understand why PBL is so engaging for students.
What do parents think about PBL?
We’ve written at length about why PBL makes for effective and engaging learning opportunities for students. With PBL, students see themselves making a difference in the world around them. PBL empowers students to see themselves as agents of change.
How it worked for one parent
Kelly Story’s son, Ian, is a sixth-grader at Shelburne Community School, in Shelburne VT. Story noticed a change in her son as he worked through an inter-disciplinary PBL unit on revolutions: he began talking to her about them, and he began to see how his own life reflected what he was learning.
“The funny part about it was that we started to get a clue at the beginning of the year that he was studying revolutions because he started to talk at home about basically kind of revolting against his parents…
And we were like, “Huh! He’s really thinking at a different level here about this!”
Ian went on to ask his mom about attending local political protests, which they then did as a family.
Five project-based learning resources for parents
Here are some resources to help explain to families about PBL’s benefits.
1. “Project-Based Learning: Explained”: an introduction to PBL
If you’re just introducing parents to the PBL concept, share this easy-to-follow explanation of what it is and how it works.
2. A template for communicating with parents about PBL
If PBL is a new experience for parents, they’re going to have questions. Look over these templates for family letters that might help you craft your own communications to families.
3) Edutopia’s PBL Resources for Parents
No one wants to run into the dreaded phrase, “That’s not how I was taught!” Help parents build their own capacity to support learners with Edutopia’s PBL Resources for Parents.
A school without parent and student support is a school not operating with its full resources. Parents, students, and educators all working off of the same assumptions and working toward common goals is the ideal. Communication is a key component to achieving this ideal.
How do you share project-based learning with parents?