In thinking of the elements of project based learning I can understand the benefits of such methodology. PBL creates engagement and motivation within learners to research, think critically, and problem solve. It offers a degree of freedom and choice allowing all types of learners to participate. The limited research shows students involved in PBL show decreased anxiety toward some content areas, more positive attitudes toward learning, and little difference between academic performance and socioeconomic levels (David, 2008). David (2008) points out, most research focuses on the challenges of implementing PBL, to which there are many. These challenges range from a lack in training to demands of curriculum and testing, to the time and effort required to plan, implement, and manage PBL. For one teacher with a class of 25 students implementing PBL is a scary prospect, especially if it the first time for the project, because there are bound to be kinks and snags along the way.
PBL is a challenging fit within the demands and expectations of many public school teachers, but as David (2008) suggests, teachers can use the key ideas of PBL to motivate and challenge students with real world problems.
David, J. (2008, February). What research says about … / project-based learning. Educational Leadership, 65:5, 80-82. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/feb08/vol65/num05/Project-Based_Learning.aspx