The Project approach type of learning presented by Sylvia Chard is an effective tool to use in the learning place. This approach allows students, especially the younger ones, to develop a wide range of learning and have a thorough understanding on different things which they encounter in their everyday lives. The said approach promotes the use of a specific topic which is most likely relevant to young children. Although there is a vast of topics in which the teacher can choose from, it is important to consider that the topic to be chosen should be of significant to the learners.
Topics to be used must be link to other areas of study. In adapting the said approach, a teacher must first understand that this approach is a means to supplement and provide the children with contexts for applying the skills they learn in the more formal parts of the curriculum. A more concrete, local and specific topic is best to be used on younger learners. The teacher must however note the differences between a topic and a theme. Distinction between these two concepts should be clear.
A topic defines a more exact area of study than the so called theme. Having a vague idea between the two concepts may lead to poor teaching and may cause confusion to children in the classroom. An educator must also note the distinction between a project and a unit because these two concepts are sometimes used interchangeably. As to any approach in the teaching process, it is imperative for a teacher to first understand the depth and the concerns of the process.
Before implementing a project to young children, the teacher should assess and have a clear idea on what he would like to portray to his students. Initial planning and used of tools such as the topic web would be beneficial. Considering planning before starting the project would lead to a more organized manner of teaching. Furthermore, consulting other teachers on the prepared project would help one to improve his project. Application of the project approach in the learning place would bring a lot of benefits if properly executed.
This approach develops a learner’s capability to think critically in analyzing the topic presented. They will be more likely to raise their opinions and questions regarding the topic presented and tend to find solutions and justification by collaborative working with other children and their teacher. And as opposed to the systematic approach of teaching, the project approach encourages active participation of the children because this addresses their proficiencies instead of their deficiencies.
Knowing the nature of young children, they are more encourage and motivated if the teacher would acknowledge their accomplished works. In addition, this approach would also promote active participation of children in the learning place and would therefore make the discussion to be more lively and interactive. Reference Chard, Sylvia C. (1992). The Project Approach: A Practical Guide for Teachers. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Printing Services.