What is the Project Method of Teaching Science?

Project Method of Teaching Science

This method of teaching gives more importance and recognition to the group activity. Before discussing about this method, it is first important to understand the meaning of concept of Project. According to an expert, a project is a problematic act which is carried out to completion in its natural and immediate settings. Another expert is of the view that a project is a whole hearted activity which is done with a specific purpose in a social environment.

Thus it can be said that a project is a special kind of experience which is outcome of a desire of the students. Therefore, teaching by this method is based upon the use of desire of the students. Project method can be best explained through the phrase learning by Living.

This phrase clearly explains the fact that human beings are social animals who cannot learn gain any kind of information by living in isolation. They always learn better in a group or society in which they are being placed. If any human beings intend to live harmoniously in society then he should be provided with well balanced opportunities in schools and educational institutions to solve out similar kind of problems which he usually face in his real or actual life.

Human life is full of projects, and all of us make different kinds of attempts to carry out these projects successfully. This method is designed on the idea that gap between social life and home life of the students should be bridged down. Such kind of atmosphere should be created in the schools in which students feel themselves in a small society. Under this method, around a central theme, connected facts are being developed, which can be in the form of scientific principles or facts.

Under this method, a suitable project is being picked up by the students, which they are required to complete in a cooperative and natural way. Generally such projects are inspired by needs and problems which students encounter in their day to day life. Students try to solve these problems through advice and guidance of the teacher.

Students are required to perform various kinds of activities while planning and executing the project in reality. As a result of felt needs of the students, what they learn through this method comes in a natural way. Thus it can be said that teaching conducted through this method is a kind of incidental learning where teaching is undertaken as a result of mere coincidence in a very informal v/ay.

Steps taken in Project Method

For a project, one has to take some definite and planned steps, mention of which are as follows:

- In the first step, teacher provides a situation for the project to the teachers. Under this step, teacher should create such conditions in which students can make various kinds of scientific enquiries from the him. Usually it is found that there is a spontaneous upsurge of such situations while at the same time, teacher has to plan for the creation of such conditions. Students can spot out such problems at any place, i.e., laboratory, classroom etc.

- Once the students become interested in picking up and solving a problem, teacher should provide them with number of alternative suggestions out of which they can make a selection of suitable project in accordance with their mental abilities. To make choice of appropriate alternative, proper suggestion and advice should be provided to the students by the teacher. While doing so, it is necessary for teacher as well as students to keep in mind the available facilities in the school.

- In the third step, proper planning relating to project is made out. Teachers take certain steps by which students can be made to hold lively discussion. For this purpose, teacher can also arrange expert from the other institutions or schools. Students should carry out all the efforts for chalking out a detailed strategy in accordance with which chosen project will be carried out. In this stage, teacher should play an active role. It is only he who can provide the students with suggestions as how to choose the most practical plan of action. At this stage, teacher should assign duties and responsibilities among the students and they should be informed about their area of functions.

- While keeping interest and mental capabilities of the students, teacher assigns work to the various students by which they can execute the project in reality. For proper execution of the project, it is necessary that all the students should be provided with equal opportunities. Teachers also provide the students with the authority by which they can sub-divide the responsibility provided to them. Such arrangements and conditions are created by the teacher that all the students of the group can work whole heartedly with a sole purpose of executing the project successfully. Through various sources, important informations are being collected by the students. For this purpose, they also visit various places and keep timely accounts of the project. Teacher provides the students with proper guidance if any kind of difficulty get arise. In this process, students can acquire valuable theoretical understanding and practical application of various scientific ideas and facts in their life.

- It is the responsibility of both teacher and students to review the success and failure of project frequently. This step is taken to ensure that set objectives of conducting project have been realised properly. Such conditions are created by teacher in which students can assess their level of performance themselves. Some of the important aspects of execution step are discussions for improving the execution activities of the project and seeking changes in the procedure. For overall assessment, project is being evaluated at the end, once it is fully executed to determine the achievement, difficulties and lessons which are learnt by students during execution of project.

- Students keep a complete record of work performed by them during execution of project. Every step taken by them should be recorded in proper manner. They should note down the difficulties which they face during their work properly.

All the above mentioned steps should be taken by the students while executing the project. Nature and kind of project should be selected by the students however, teacher should provide them with proper guidance and directions.