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ERIC Number: EJ787491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1542-4715
Project-Based Learning: Rigor and Relevance in High Schools
Harada, Violet H.; Kirio, Carolyn; Yamamoto, Sandy
Library Media Connection, v26 n6 p14-16, 18, 20 Mar 2008
High schools are under tremendous pressure to increase graduation rates and lower dropout numbers. A survey conducted for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation indicated that over a third of students entering high school never graduate on time. Students who drop out claim that the curriculum is disconnected from real life and that their schools are impersonal systems where no one really cares about them. Over half of these students are disadvantaged minorities of color, e.g., Hispanic, African, and Native Americans. High schools are responding to this challenge by creating smaller learning communities and academies that focus on interdisciplinary learning environments and team teaching. This type of reform is fertile ground for Project-Based Learning (PBL). Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a potentially powerful means to produce relevant and rigorous learning. Although developing projects is not new in education, PBL is a more holistic instructional strategy. With the increasingly diverse student population, PBL takes on greater importance because it builds on students' individual strengths and allows them to explore their interests in the structure of a defined curriculum. Furthermore, Project-based learning frames an approach to learning that actively engages students in deeper levels of comprehension and interpretation about what and how they study. While the classroom teacher has the disciplinary knowledge, the library media specialist can assist the teacher with the process or thinking skills necessary for students to create meaning for themselves. The synergy of working together provides a learning frame that can be a seamless blend. PBL is an approach to teaching and learning that brings curriculum in line with the way the world really works. (Contains 2 figures.)
Linworth Publishing, Inc. 480 East Wilson Bridge Road Suite L, Worthington, OH 43085. Tel: 614-436-7107; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A