What is project-based learning?

Check out this article from the Children and Nature Network.


Project-based learning, especially environmental project-based learning is a way to immerse students into various aspects of the natural world.

“We do not organize education the way we sense the world.  If we did, we would have departments of Sky, Landscapes, Water, Wind, Sounds, Time, Seashores, Swamps, and Rivers.  Instead, we’ve organized education like mailbox pigeonholes, by disciplines that are abstractions organized for intellectual convenience.”

– David W. Orr, Center for Ecoliteracy                                                                             Board of Directors

A few key points that stand out from this article include:

  • In project learning, teachers are not lecturers.  They are used as resources for information.  They learn and problem solve with the students.
  • Encountering nature often crosses curriculum and grade level lines.  “Nature, after all, does not do science at 9:00, social studies at 10:00 and math at 11:00.”
  • Although project-based learning often requires extra effort, that effort is well worth it.
  • Environmental project-based learning helps students develop a love and interest in their environment, which trickles down to everything in which they are exposed.

What do you think?  Would you be willing to put in a little extra effort to facilitate environmental project-based learning in your center or classroom?  Do you think the results are worth it?

Do these nature projects look intriguing?





Still not sure?  Edutopia gives a great overview on how to get started on implementing project-based learning into your own curriculum.




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