What is PBL?
PBL is Project Base Learning. It is an idea premised on changing education paradigms which aim to make learning more relevant to the student by focusing on solving real-life problems rather than spending hours sitting in a classroom either listening to the teacher or copying out of textbooks.
The traditional approach to learning encourages memorisation and focuses on doing well in tests and often students soon forget what they have learnt once the test has been written. Just this week the OECD released international league tables comparing 15 year olds in reading, mathematics, and science. The countries that top the tables have been shown to employ harsh regimes of keeping students learning for ridiculously long hours with some sleeping at midnight on a daily basis as standard. That cannot be sustainable which is why a revolution in education is required and PBL is a very good starting point in which students spend more productive hours in school, solving real life problems though well structured projects which add diversity to their time in school away from the dull routines of similar work, monotonous patterns, and test oriented teaching.
PBL allows the student to use critical thinking, collaboration (we often tell students to stop copying!), communication with their peers and facilitators of the project, and they acquire critical life skills in the process which they will never acquire by being reminded to shut up and listen! We even have medication to help calm them down.
Africa would hugely benefit from this approach then maybe we can learn to solve our multiple challenges with a new breed of graduates.