Core Idea 2     Learner-Centered Instruction

Principle E: Learning by doing

Generally, the most effective way to learn is by doing, especially for younger students. We collectively refer to all forms of learning by doing as project-based instruction, which enhances motivation, retention, and transfer to the real world.  In project-based instruction, each student chooses or designs a project as a vehicle to master specific content.  Projects are typically collaborative, interdisciplinary, of significant scope, and as students grow older, focused on bettering the student’s world, not just the student

Principle F: Instructional support

Instructional support, sometimes called scaffolding, accelerates learning and helps all students reach their potential. It can take the form of adjusting, coaching, or tutoring.  Adjusting entails tailoring the complexity or difficulty of the project to the level of the student.  Coaching includes giving suggestions or hints to the student while the student is performing.  Tutoring involves teaching the student a competency, preferably just before it is needed in a project.

Principle G: Personalized learning

To accelerate learning and help all students reach their potential, it is essential to customize the learning experience.  Personalized instruction does not mean that students must learn alone. In fact, teacher guidance and collaborative project-based learning are common parts of PCBE.  A good way to personalize the instruction is to help each student make good choices in all the following areas: goals, projects, scaffolding, assessments, and reflections.  Each student should have a personal learning plan.

Principle H: Collaborative learning

Collaboration is increasingly important in work environments. Collaborating in the school environment will help prepare students for that.  Other benefits are that the helper learns too, it builds community and interpersonal skills, it enhances motivation, it develops critical thinking, and it frees up teacher time.  Collaboration can take the form of team-based projects (which promote deeper collaboration) or peer assistance (for single-student projects).