The project to be successful must be based on a definite procedure. The first and main responsibility of a teacher is to provide those situations in which they feel a spontaneous urge to solve some of their practical problems. The teacher must be on the book out to discover their interest, tastes, aptitudes and needs.
Teacher should motivate the students in such a manner that there is whole hearted cooperation of students in the process.
Teacher helps the students in proper planning of the project and discuss with them all the pros and cons of the project. He highlights on the important aspects and hazards of the project.
The teacher supplies clues and also provides information to the students about the sources of materials for the project.
He also helps the students in evaluating the project and to draw inferences.
The relation of the teacher with his students is very closer in project method than in the ordinary class teaching. The teacher is like a friend, an elder brother who works together with the students and helps them to gain rich experiences. He acts in the capacity of a director of the student group and gives all types of necessary directions and does not behave as an autocratic teacher.
Essentials of a Good Project
Following points are essential for a good project.
(i) Timely: The project should be such as is related directly to the lesson and vocational interest. It should be in accordance with the mental and chronological age of the students Environmental and seasonal factors must also be given due consideration
(ii) Usefulness: The project selected should be useful in life. The learning experience in a project must be capable of being applied in life.
(iii) Interesting: Project should be interesting from students point of view. They must make an appeal to the emotional hungers or drives of the students.
(iv) Challenging: Project should neither be too simple nor too long and difficult. They should be challenging. Challenging tasks are liked by youth.
(v) Economical: The project should be economical and should not unnecessarily tax the energy and pocket of the students.
(vi) Rich in Experience: The project should be able to correlate different subjects and practical activities of life.
(vii) Cooperativeness: In the project there should be enough scope for individual and cooperative thinking.
Merits of the Project Method
(i) It is based on the laws of learning i.e.
(a) The law of readiness,
(b) The law of exercise, and
(c) The law of effect.
(ii) It allows to students full freedom of expression and also of participation.
(iii) It bring and child to interact with real life situations.
(iv) It helps the students to learn the practical usefulness of different subjects of curriculum.
(v) It provides a correlation of all the subjects. While working on a project subjects do not remain isolated and learning comes as a bye product of purposeful activity.
(vi) It provides to the students training in the democratic way of life.
(vii) Project method imparts training to the students to inculcate in them primary virtues like tolerance, independence,
(viii) Dignity of labour is engendered through the project method. They learn that there is nobleness in working and doing things with their own hands.
(ix) It discourages cramming and memory work. It stresses problem solving. It develops the thinking and reasoning power of the students.
(x) Project method provides a good relief to the backward children by providing them opportunities of participation in practical situations.
(xi) It develops constructive discipline. As the children remain busy with their self-chosen work so they do not get opportunities to think of anti-social ways.
Demerits, Limitations, Difficulties of Project Method
(i) It leads to neglect of intellectual work.
(ii) By project method learning is not systematic and orderly.
(iii) It upsets the routine work of the school.
(iv) This method neglects drill and development of skill in various subjects.
(v) The preparation of books suitable for project method is a difficult task. Moreover the material required for project work is quite costly.
(vi) Sometimes teachers bring about artificial correlation by over stretching the project beyond its natural limits and try to connect those topics which have remote connection with the project in hand.
(vii) Project method is unsuitable for shirkers and shy students. Such students are not inclined to take any responsibility and remain in the background and do very little work.
(viii) It puts too much reliance on young children.
(ix) For successful working of project method, learning, efficient and resourceful teacher are needed. It imposes heavy burden on the teachers.
(x) A child reading in an ordinary school finds it very difficult to adapt himself to a school that follows project method and vice-versa
(xi) There is no mastery over the area under this method.
(xii) It places more emphasis on manipulative activity and less on mental or critical thinking
Unit Plan Method
This method is based on Heibart’s concept of unit planning According to him, it signifies, “Unity or wholeness of learning activities relating to some project or a problem”. It emphasises learning by wholes. It meets the needs of the learners and is opposed to traditional, fragmentary lesson.
A unit plan is a plan of instructions based on significant area of learning. It is an instructional procedure which implements the idea of learning the whole garment. The unit is a sustained well planned experience that lasts for days and weeks. The application of whole method in unit planning leads to whole and meaningful knowledge, skill and attitude on the part of the learner.