The Project-Based Ecological Model (PBEM) is the heart and soul of Cambridge. It’s a part of each student’s daily routine and takes up a solid period called PBEM time. But what is it?
In a nutshell, PBEM is an in-depth investigation of a specific topic through experiential learning. The teachers play the role of facilitators instead of an authority or expert and let the children learn about the subject as they interact with their environment. Learning by doing and by experiencing the world is far more beneficial for children than rote memorization in classrooms.
Benefits of PBEM
Project-based learning enables children to practice their creativity and critical thinking while encouraging them to work together. They develop self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment during the activity. Primary school teachers report that they have better attitudes toward learning and improved problem-solving capabilities.
PBEM in Action
One of our term topics was “HANDS AND FEET.” We did a hand and feet painting activity for the children to be able to explore their own set of hands and feet. They were able to form different kinds of animals through this art activity. The class related these animal shapes to actual yoga poses. The teacher then gathered the children’s prior knowledge and the things they want to learn more about with regards to the topic.
As we moved the discussion along, the class settled on three activities that they would love to learn: gymnastics, ballet, and yoga. The children grouped themselves according to their favorite activity and we arranged a mini fieldtrip or “fieldwork” for them. The students went to an introductory class about their respective interest. Actual coaches, ballerinas, and yoga practitioners helped them discover the many different ways they can move. These first hand experiences helped them retain their new found knowledge. It’s a lesson that they will never forget even after the term.
After fieldwork, the children along with their teacher summed up their experiences in one culminating activity.
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