Project Based Learning & Design Thinking

What is ‘project based learning’ and ‘design thinking’?

Project based learning is essentially the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, not just at the end.

It is the ongoing act of learning about different subjects simultaneously. This is achieved by guiding students to identify, through research, local to global real-world problems and developing its solution using evidence to support the claim, and presenting the solution through a multimedia approach based in a set of contemporary learning tools. Throughout the ‘project’, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with one another and perform self-assessment and peer-assessment.

Engineers, businesses, social entrepreneurs and other innovators have used design methods and processes for decades to create new solutions for many different types of challenges. In the school setting, ‘design thinking’ is an approach to addressing challenges in a thoughtful and fun way, where students apply the four ‘Cs’ – collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication – to their own work while developing new solutions in the classroom, school or community. Designing requires conversation, critique and teamwork. Design thinking aims to give students confidence in their creative abilities and a process to take positive and effective action when faced with a difficult challenge. Fundamentally, it is about learning by doing.

Pulteney Grammar School’s new Middle School will help our students to be engaged actively in their learning and developing confidence in their own abilities to take on challenges, develop their critical and creative thinking and make strong connections with their community at local, national and global levels.