The introduction of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in February 2020 was one of the most exciting activities that marked the beginning of a series of various academic activities in the faculty department for the year. This training, facilitated by a South African based education architect Ms Lindsay, also served as an eye-opener to most of the participants amidst a breeze of the uncertainty of the aftermaths of the changes associated with a paradigm shift from what was our normal. As opposed to the traditional methods of dissemination of knowledge, PBL is student-centred, student-oriented as well as student-initiated, away from the teacher facilitation throughout lessons.
Bringing together several members of staff drawn from different departments, the inter-relationship between various disciplines was curved out to mask the normal subject- individualisation whereby the student needed to attend several subject classes and later infuse them into one complex formation. This is in favour of the one student project branching out to fetch information from various sources that are interrelated or interdependent in one way or the other. The week-long activities were highly collaborative and the final projects prepared were very rich in content which was a clear indicator to the inception and understanding of the pros and cons of the new system by the participants in readiness to transferring it to the learners over the learning period.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and as such, after the midterm break, the form one and two students had a taste of project-based learning materials and were equally excited at the new way of getting knowledge with more than one teacher in class facilitating the learning. As always, any new introduction of a new idea brings forth some alertness and curiosity which the students exuded with admiration and uncertainty of grasping the contents in equal measure. Nonetheless, these were softly the baby steps. We must walk the baby severally, to build its feet and strength them, so it can fully self-support in mobility considering the gravity of the details of the program in its entirety.
We believe most of us are now eagerly looking forward to full-time implementation and utilisation of this method in teaching and learning both the students and the teachers.
With the fore exposure to creative and critical thinking, we have previously infiltrated to our learners before the introduction of PBL through various clubs and associations in the academy, and its our candid believe that we might have unknowingly been slowly preparing the basis of this program. With clubs like Kenya Science and Engineering Fair, Young Innovators, Flora and Fauna, Debate, Cuisine, enterprise to mention but a few of the many, most learners have been exposed to the art of research methods and information acquisition through personalised subject line research hence they won’t have to start from scratch. PBL is the baby we all need to care for to maturity and beyond.