A Central Texas high school is teaching concepts in a real-world way and others are looking to follow their lead.
When you walk through the doors of Belton New Tech High School you will see students everywhere working on projects in groups for every class. The school focuses student collaboration on projects to teach concepts.
Georgia Ross, a senior at the school says project-based learning isn’t just educational it’s enjoyable.
“I think a lot of students my age kind of get fed up with the idea of going to school and you learn all of these things, but no one ever tells you why you’re learning them or how they’re gonna be useful to you in the future,” Ross said.
Students are feeling better prepared for real-world experiences because they interact with people every day.
“I think that there’s a lot of walls that students put up that they’re not allowed to really be themselves because of the way the culture. And I think that from day one, we really try to get kids to learn to work with each other and think outside of the box,” Gina Taber, an AP Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher at Belton New Tech High School, said.
Teachers begin each lesson with one driving question that acts as the theme for the project.
“Teachers are still teaching, but I think it benefits these students more to have that material and to let out those kind of outlets. So, I think that more schools should do PBL learning,” Ross added.
And more schools including China Spring ISD are interested in PBL learning to see what it’s all about.
“Some of the things that I loved that I heard from them is that they truly value the student involvement in the learning process, and then also the student feedback that they would get from the students which would then help them gauge their learning,” Kari Espin, an Instructional Technologist for China Spring ISD, said.
Belton New Tech High School teachers say their students are more excited to come to class. They believe the projects make it more enjoyable and they learn more.