BPLA is a Project that Helps Students Improve their Practice

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One may consider PBL a 21st-century innovation but, in fact, the idea dates back to 20th-Century. The educational philosopher, John Dewey (1916), believed in understanding by practicing and discovering solutions initiated it. If we wish to go far more, we will find that Aristotle supports learning by doing things, whereas Socrates advocates learning by using critical thinking, questioning, and investigating. Taken together, we may call this PBL classroom (cf. Boss, 2011, Edutopia).

I agree with these theses because they deal with real situations, which are crucial for learning.

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As Dewey (1916) states, ‘Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself’ (Boss, 2011, Edutopia). This is because an educated person will practice gained knowledge in real life, as it will become part of personality in thinking and behavior.

The advantages of PBLA are yielded by improved academic outcome of the students who could develop their learning skills. PBL motivates students in the learning process with enjoyment, and engages them practically in the topic (See Harmer, p.13). It has been proved that school students who applied PBA achieved higher grades in the national tests than traditional school students (Thomas, 2007, P. 15). It is worth mentioning that the complexity of the project may vary from small to big complicated project, both of which support the curriculum. Searching authentic sources makes them experts, as Boss supports Bolstad opinion (Boss, 2012), in the role of the project building quality learning of the students, and encourages autonomous learning.

One of the difficulties that face the adoption of PBLA is those qualified teachers who have traditional teaching style but resist the change. In fact, what make them adhere to their old teaching style is the positive results they achieve with their learners. Meanwhile, others find it welcoming; they ignore all obstacles facing the application of new ideas (Ravitch, 2016, p. 2). Obviously, the second group of practitioners is the main reason for the development and progress of PBLA. Because any change is revolutionary in nature, all that needed for implementation would be appropriate conditions and possibilities for influencing decision-makers.

The best example for that is what happened in San Diego in 1998 when the school board hired experts and gave them the authority to do changes, then changes became a model for other districts; they adapted their sample form (Ravitch, 2016, p. 47). Principals who hesitated to accept the reform were fired; This may explain why educators became experts in their profession.

Through searching data that would enable me to become an expert in PBLA, I came across many challenges that faced scholars on implementing an issue such as Group Work (GW), which is defined as the incorporation of many members to enhance the performance by being more effective in solving any problem (Trevithick, 2012, p, 82-83). Mostly, GW is considered to have a positive impact on the learning process, but Frank and Barzilai found a conflict in some PBA work because of inequality in preforming duties. Members in the project do not do their part in the same efficiency and the planned time (Harmer, 2014, p. 21). I think such an issue will not affect the project-based work seriously if the tasks are assigned to members carefully and evenly.

As I mentioned earlier, those who don’t want to change will cause another challenge because they insist to practice their traditional way in teaching. They don’t like the modern teaching style, so-called ‘student-centered learning’, which requires student’s background and is practiced in most educational institutes (Froyd, 2008). Many educators reject PBL, claiming that it puts pressure on students, parents, and project leaders (Harmer, 2014, p. 22).


When there is an original and worthy idea, it becomes the source of creativity and gives answers to many questions (Robinson, 2012, Video file). I learned from the above quote one basic fact that has had significant impact on my educational experience. I can now see the difference between GW and autonomy in work and the difficulties of each one as Harmer noted previously. The bias comes with any new idea and makes a concerned person nervous, but with understanding the purpose and the intention of the project, it will give encouragement to implement the change successfully (Najibullah, 2017, July 12, Discussion board, week 3).

I learned how to update my thinking if there are other different views that have been approved by other experts. According to Heidi Hayes Jacobs (2011, May 03), when we upgrade strategic replacement for the curriculum and instructions, we must replace and update contents, skills, and assessments more than one time a year. Jacobs adds that it is interesting to assign a project to the students as assessment, give them a verbal feedback, look for gaining knowledge, without thinking about grading, and be flexible in implementing new strategy. As Sabrina lends support to this statement, we all need to learn and be experts (Sabrina, 2017, July 23, Week four discussion).

PBLA became fashionable method in most educational institutions. As an ambitious teacher who looks forward to helping students and achieving the institute’s goals in the best possible way, I found that PBLA has a great role in raising the level of students’ perception of the required information.

Through teaching experience, I applied PBLA to my students, as it is part of the education strategy in our institute. All students participate in the project with dedication and seriousness; this was the main reason behind the progress of a number of students who were at low academic levels. For that, it became a necessity to be become an expert in this promising area.

Perspective/ Supporting Evidence

Curricula must evolve in line with the development of science and knowledge, the availability of resources, and with the great revolution in technology. Everything has changed throughout history like telephones, cars, etc. However, when we come to teaching, we will see it unchanged through the last hundred and fifty years (Najibullah, 2017, July 5, Discussion Board), as Robinson stated in his presentation.

An important method of improving student’s academic levels in any topic is to work in PBLA. It is a dynamic curriculum for students to discover the real problems challenging the world in their own environment. The PBA requires skills in searching and activating learning, which provides students deeper knowledge of the material they are studying. This is consonant with the old adage, which states: ‘Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand’ (Barron, 2008, p. 1). Because autonomous work will make students more involved in problem solving, they will be able to discover or create solutions that need analysis, interpretation, linking of information, comparison, selection of the best, making decisions, and then coming up with personal independent production.

Other practitioners, e.g. (Jacquelyn, 2017, July 23 Discussion week 4), did not have any knowledge about assessments in learning; she became acquainted with another method to be an expert educator. Personally, I have been practicing PBLA for years. I used to help my daughter with her assigned projects through the school program. In addition, PBA is an integral part of our curriculum in teaching activities. In our institute, my students enjoy and benefit from it a great deal.

The main concern students normally have with PBA is evaluation, even if the goal were set up to obtaining knowledge not high grades, especially the projects that relate to social and process fields. Stauffacher is of this view because when students are not sure about the assessment it causes uncertainty (Harmer, 2014, p.21). It has been found that the difficulty in applying assessments in the class rests with fears students have; not all students will understand the goal of the assessments, which the teacher offers them (Norman, 2016). In my experience, students show their appreciation and reaction after comprehending and solving the problem assigned to them and connecting all information together.

Another concern about implementing PBLA was the time load on teachers and students as having been observed, but Joyce stated that the students needed more time in their projects (Harmer, 2014, p.22). Both ideas practically are correct and the instructor should be an expert in choosing the due time for any project. Sometimes, moving through developing the curriculum needs, to move from one theme to another and giving the project long time will conflict with the topic in the classroom, which confuses the students and their teachers with the curriculum.

Grant thinks that PBLA is not as easy as we think (Grant, 2009, p. 17). Ravitch disagrees with that because any new idea faces rejection, but when it is practiced with confidence, it will improve the educational process. Teachers create positive environments in the classroom (Danielson, 2000, p. 27). This is what Sabrina believes, that the teacher has to be creative and flexible having one goal; supporting the learning of students not passing the test (Sabrina 2017, July 26, Discussion Board).

In spite of the positive picture experts have given to PBLA, its implementation will need special attention and more investigation to determine the various benefits and/or effects of PBLA on each style of learning, different genders, cultural background, age, and those who are with special educational needs or disabilities (Harmenr, 2014, p. 32).

Expertise Development

Full conviction and courage to work confidently is the most important way in progressing and developing the teaching experience. To become an expertise is not easy, but it is possible by intention, building knowledge, searching, measuring performance, comparison, and spending time engaging in activities and choosing the best. In this class, I have grown up in to be an expert by the help of our esteemed instructor Dr. Karen Graham, especially in the way she guided building the final paper gradually from the first week of the class.

I can see myself using the PBA now in the learning process without knowing the name of this activity. I am open-minded, ready to examine and choose from various theoretical perspectives to improve the quality of teaching in general and give that knowledge to whoever has the chance to read my thoughts.

When I started a full time in the educational field, I had a poor knowledge about teaching strategies, which did not exceed the experience of my teachers who applied the traditional education methods. For that reason, I had a sincere desire to develop my teaching skills. So I gradually I began to be acquainted with different methods of teaching by exchanging experience reading and searching for new theories and experiments in the field. One of these was the PBL, which I believe will improve the students’ capabilities in learning.

I developed my teaching methods by implementing PBLA. I guided my students to build projects, search, to work individually and/or in small groups, solve problems, present their output, and interact with authentic materials. As such, student will get feedback and elicit feedback from other students, and learn from their mistakes or be proud of their product.

I expanded my knowledge in how to be an effective teacher in my institute and/or to be an expert in order to raise the level of comprehension and understanding of my students, so that they can develop their knowledge. In this course, I searched for the most important methods of education. What attracted my attention is education through projects assessments. Students benefit from learning by projects that support the curriculum more than they learned in traditional ways (Hmelo-Silver, 2004, p. 250).

This expertise paper addresses the issue of education changes from time to time. Rather than taking the classroom as teacher-centered, focus most be on student-learning center because experts want to provide their students with the opportunities to make their students learn by doing things autonomously, not just as listeners.

The assigned project related to the day-to-day materials for the students to work individually or as groups is another way to direct the students to use their skills in searching to complete the project. By adapting PBA, students will gain higher academic levels and many skills. They will go higher and deeper in their thinking. They will eventually be capable of connecting bits and pieces of the package of information at their hands and hence achieving mastery over the different concepts as intended by the assessment.

Educators should know that in PBA plan students would shape a picture of the task, recall, compare and analyze, create solutions for the tasks and evaluate. Obviously, not all of these skills can be motivated in traditional educational strategies. In addition, PBA will encourage students to acquire more skills, such as dealing with real life situations, teamwork, and giving chance to the family to be more involved in their learning process. I began to think in the same way as my colleague (Lehmer, 2017, July 5, Discussion Board), that the teacher must evolve over time and not freeze in one of the methods of education.

Graham, R. (2010) thinks it does not mean that PBLA is without difficulties or disadvantages. There are numerous challenges in applying PBLA, such as; the claim that it is time consuming, relation of the project with the standardized tests, controlling the students through the process of the project, in addition to the readiness of the students to keep up with the level of the task that requires harmony with the curriculum.

Any educationalist who aspires to become an expert in PBLA needs a great deal of focus and perseverance. This area must be studied and practiced carefully in order to make it a success rather than looking at it from one angle. Otherwise, its essence may be lost.

After searching, examining, analyzing and comparing a variety of views and beliefs presented by other educational experts, I became able to understand why and when PBA is necessary, why some encourage it and others repel it. Because of a wide range of information, I collected throughout this course, I am more relaxed in my knowledge and educational premises after I have built a working map for my professional objectives.

I found that when assessments are graded, schools are encouraged to look for grades more than global knowledge. Schools direct students in a way they perform well in graded tests, as Dewey stated (Hiebert, 1996, p, 15). Such a practice requires changes in the teaching strategies in general, but any change will face strong resistance from radical educators as (Jacquelyn, 2017, July 5, discussion Board) notes; changes should reflect the reality and needs of expert teachers on that topic.

I became an expert in PBLA through research and comparison between various views adopted by the pro-critic of this type of dealing with learners, teachers, and curriculums.

Recommendations and Actions

In spite of my belief or satisfaction in PBA because it has a positive impact on the educational process, I felt it did not have the same influence on my colleagues. After I worked on this project and had a significant search on-line, in addition to my communications with many friends, I received a welcoming support from all of them about the importance of PBA in developing students’ understanding of the material they are studying. That pushed me to do more search, and I will continue building on what I have gained in this direction, to create a variety of methods using projects in the education process.

To develop the educational system in our institute we need to take many steps and support all of those who may be involved in education, e.g.

  1. The administration should believe in the power of PBA in the learning process to give the needed time and authority to the teacher to undertake projects seriously and efficiently.
  2. Assign a significant time of each semester to inject the projects through the curriculum.
  3. Prepare the students to accept and respect the teachers’ guidance, then motivate them.
  4. All teachers need to be trained to become creative and develop interest in practicing this educational activity, to integrate their knowledge to implement PBA to have a strong foundation in practicing the assessment and make it fruitful and develop the students’ levels.
  5. The school’s teaching cadre and the administration should be in contact with the students’ families to help and interact with their children to complete the assigned tasks in due time.

I believe my achievement in this field, especially in this course, is not the end but it is the beginning. I will continue searching, practicing, and monitoring the results of any performance of my students. I will analyze farther ideas suggested by other experts to support my experience, I am grateful to everyone who has helped me in accomplishing this project. Educator’s goal must be helping students to strengthen their relationships with each other and with the teacher, in order to build positive environments in the learning process, without restrictions or differences, and to bring them closer to the required academic standards by cooperating in completing projects. The achievement of our students in Defense Language Institute will not happen without clear learning goal, as Sabrina stated (2017, Discussion Board).


Being a teacher for years, I witnessed many changes in the educational system. Accordingly, I changed many principles that I have been advocating because situations and tools are in constant change. In fact, many people do not like to repeat the same stuff every day and year. Rather, they believe in changes and inventing new strategies.

PBLA is an ongoing area of interest in education at all institutes, with different experiences integrated by encouraging students at all levels to utilize it and improve the curriculum.

This project has demonstrated positive and negative ideas about PBLA in teaching. Positively, students are enabled to engage in the learning process by practicing or doing things. As I have practiced it with my students for years, I could feel their passionate love. I am very glad to have come across the theories that support my use of PBLA. I encourage educators to follow my stand in adapting PBLA, which is highly engaging. Its introduction may help motivate both educators and learners in updating the curriculum with the implementation of PBLA.

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BPLA Is a Project That Helps Students Improve Their Practice. (2022, Jun 29). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/bpla-is-a-project-that-helps-students-improve-their-practice/