The Merits and Demerits of Project Method of Teaching Science are as follows:
Merits of Project Method
By making use of this method, following advantages are gained by teacher and students:
a. As students get proper freedom to execute the project in accordance with their interest and abilities, because of which they get their psychological needs satisfied to considerable extent.
b. This method is not only subject centred, but due importance is being provided to the students also. Students are permitted to choose projects on their own, as a result of which they make use of their abilities to maximum possible extent.
c. Through this method, students are provided with various opportunities by which they can satisfy their interests and desires.
d. Habit of critical thinking gets developed among the students through this method. Not only get this, an urge to make use of scientific methods to solve various problems also developed among the students through this method.
e. With this method, students get the ample chances in which they can develop coordination among their body and mind. Through this method, teacher can lead a well balanced development of the students.
f. Through this method, science teaching can be done with considerable success, as science is a practical subject and this method is also scientific and practical in nature. The selected project correlates with the real problems of life which students confront in their everyday life. Thus, they find it quite interesting to sort out such problems. Not only this, through the information gained, they become able to solve out their own life problems independently and effectively.
g. This method helps in promoting social interaction and co-operation among the students, as they have to work in a group and have to interact with various persons for gathering information. As the student works with full agreement of the social needs, he gets moulded in accordance with the social needs of the society in which he lives or exists. Thus, through this method, sense of social cooperation and responsibility get developed among the students, by which they can become responsible citizens in the future.
h. As students gain knowledge directly through their own efforts, thus, they acquire permanent kind of information, which is retained by them since a long period of time.
i. Mostly the projects are undertaken in classroom as classroom assignments, because of which load of home work from the students get reduced to considerable extent.
Demerits of Project Method
This method has certain limitations, which are as follows:
. a. This method takes a lot of time to plan and execute a single project. As the time available with the teacher is limited in the schools, thus they find it difficult to make use of this method in their class.
b. It is not possible to design different projects for different topics and it is also not possible to cover all the topics or content in a single project. Thus, this method becomes impractical in nature.
c. For proper execution of a project, large number of financial resources are required, which seems difficult to arrange in our nation as we have to face shortage of resources in every sphere of life.
d. Such method can only be prove successful if the teacher is highly knowledgeable, alert and exceptionally gifted. The responsibility of teacher becomes multil-folded as right from providing situations and opportunities for the selection of projection, he provides the students with all the provisions by which they can execute the project successfully.
e. Systematic and adequate learning is not provided by this method, as it is a method of incidental learning. Through this method, students learn only what is required by them in relation to the completion of the projects. Thus, through this process, it is not possible to treat the curricular areas in systematic and orderly manner.
f. Generally it is found that teachers do not possess much information regarding the manner in which this method should be used as a result of which they hesitate from using this method, as a result of which, it's utility remains more or less limited to negligible extent.
When to Use:
As this method has various serious limitations, because of which it is not possible to use this method exclusively for science teaching. Teacher feels the need to make use of other methods of teaching also along with this method. In other words, this method can be used as a supplement for the proper utilisation of usual classroom teaching which is understand by any good teaching method.
Some experts consider this method not as a method of teaching, but as a method of making use of knowledge and acquired skills. While keeping in mind such points, it can be said that this method is suitable for elementary classes and should be used when the number of students in the class are less. Through this method, nature study can be best taught to the students.
For any kind of investigation, proper planning and organisation works should be conducted by the teacher and students should be grouped in groups, of limited size. A leader should be assigned of the groups, who should be held liable for workings of all the students of the group. Through this provision, teacher can ensure high level of success of this method.