Project Based Learning

Many studies at the turn of the 21st century proved that students tend to retain more information and develop new skills when they are actively engaged in trying to solve a problem or answer a compelling question (Blumenfeld et al., 1991).  Researchers learned what many teachers already knew:  answering authentic questions and solving real problems collaboratively, in a social context, boosts comprehension and retention of knowledge and skills (Blumenfeld et al., 1996). The DBQ Project Method encourages collaborative inquiry at every step of the way.  From the Hook Activity through the Thrash Out, we encourage discussion, debate and argument about the significance of evidence for answering the question. As students work to package their ideas into an essay or other final product they clarify their thoughts and construct real knowledge.  Although some students are ready to work and learn the way scientists and historians do without much assistance, most need structure and support. Taking risks and drawing inferences to solve and articulate solutions to problems can feel scary. The DBQ Project is here to help teachers build students’ confidence.

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