Institutionalising project-based learning with the Department of Basic Education
The education sector the world over recently benefited from a global event, led by teachers for teachers. The event was the first ever virtual World Education Week conference where 100 schools from across the globe were selected to speak on different topics related to the ‘new normal’ and learning in the 21st century. Learn to Live School of Skills was one of only seven schools in South Africa invited to speak at the week-long event, where they shared their insights on their pioneering implementation of project-based learning (PBL).
Introducing the concept was Dr. Ria de Villiers from the National Department of Basic Education. The Department intends to institutionalise PBL in all schools by 2022 to reduce youth unemployment by 90% by the year 2030. Learn to Live School of Skills is one of just a few schools currently participating in the pilot phase of this project.
The primary purpose behind the creation of project-based learning methodology is that it encourages learners to think interdependently, communicate with clarity, manage impulsivity, take responsible actions and apply past knowledge to new experiences as they explore real-world challenges and apply what they learn in a dynamic classroom environment. The endgame is the effective creation of better work habits and improved attitudes towards learning, resulting in the long-term retention of skills. Project-based learning unlocks 21st century competencies and solution-seeking mindsets so that the youth become employable, engaged and entrepreneurial.
Welcoming viewers to the talk, Father Pat Naughton, CEO of Salesian Institute Youth Projects, said of their implementation of project-based learning, “I was convinced PBL was what we were looking for… and already our learners’ lives have been transformed. Discipline and attendance have improved and learning is taking place in joyful ethos.”
You can watch the full Learn to Live School of Skills presentation on the Salesian Institute Youth Projects YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/OyNI9NEZ_4A.
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