Most top schools follow an educational model whereby they train their students to pass exams by sitting in lectures and memorising facts. The two main failures of this model are that the monotonous and rigid structure doesn’t serve all students equally, while it also fails to prepare students for what comes after the exams.
It’s for this reason that Brave Generation Academy uses a hybrid model that follows the well-respected and widely-recognised IGCSE and A-Level curriculums from Pearson Edexcel, while also encouraging learners to discover and pursue their own passions around these subjects.
This model asks students to discover and use whatever inspires and engages them in their day-to-day lives to help them undertake Project-Based Learning (PBL). Studies show that Project-Based Learning can hugely improve engagement, test-scores and attendance by allowing students to link their own interests to their academic mission. So what is it, and why is it important for your child?
In a traditional school, a teacher will use a project as a means of reinforcing the material covered in a lecture. For example, in a chemistry class students are taught reaction formulas and might be asked to apply them in a paper task. Project-based learners would instead be given a range of common household materials and (safely!) asked to replicate these reactions, asking them to research the chemicals contained in them and the quantities needed to replicate the experiments. In short learners need to employ multiple techniques to succeed, including research, logical deduction, and iterative learning.
For many students and their families, the principal benefit to PBL is in attaining a better educational performance. PBL allows students to acquire an in-depth knowledge around a subject on their own terms. By incorporating their passion into their educational journey (whether it be video production, music, presenting or anything else!) while also challenging students to find the learning method most appropriate for them, students end up showing higher levels of engagement, test-scores and attendance. The PBL method allows them to move beyond simply memorizing and replicating information, to fully mastering it and being able to apply it in new spaces.
Another benefit is that it provides students with soft skills not otherwise covered in a curriculum. 65% of jobs that will be available to graduates in 5-10 years don’t even exist now, so it’s impossible to give learners the practical skills they need to succeed in their chosen careers (if they even have one at that age). Instead, PBL manges to instil in students essential soft skills that are in high demand among employers, like leadership, critical thinking, communication, research and even project management. Frequently PBL tasks are quite complex and large in scope, which means it is essential that students work within a team to succeed, which in turn leads to higher teamwork skills.
By asking students to take charge and incorporate their hobbies and passions into their learning journey, they end up becoming much more confident learners who develop the skills to learn throughout their lives, and not just up to key exams.
At the Brave Generation Academy, we understand the importance of asking learners to bring extra-curricular passions into their learning journey, and our PBL model fully puts the learner in a position to benefit fully from their education.
December 2, 2020, Cascais
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