Saturday 16 April 2022

What project approach really is?

How project activity is related to the competencies of the 21st century.
Dear reader, I was inspired to write this article by my parents. Many children , those who study at home and those who study in state schools - study in the so-called "project approach". What is it and what is it really for?

A child at school goes through a topic and gets homework - make a project on this topic in the form of a presentation / report / craft.

Such a formulation of the task, such a technique leads to a complete depreciation of the project approach, as such. We get performers again, with the illusion of creative activity.

Why do we need a project approach and how is it related to the development of competencies of the 21st century? 


The project approach, in fact, is needed in order to teach the child to formulate "his desire", to formulate the zone of his interest and makes it possible to go from the desired image to a specific result. In the course of project work, the child learns to plan, select tools and materials for the implementation of the result, see his strengths and weaknesses, negotiate with people for help or cooperation.

It is also impossible to exclude the age characteristics of children from the project approach. What a child at 16 can do is not at all the same as what a child at 7 can do. For a child at 7 years old, projects should be short-term, and gradually come to long-term planning. Gradually, this is by the age of 10. We must not forget that the time of mastering any technique is 2 years. 


It is pointless to wait for the result earlier. Methodology is not a technology. From the age of 10, it is preferable to create group projects. Psychologically, this is where children think – who am I in the group? What kind of relationship do I have? What can I do? What can't I do? It's a time of self-awareness in the community. And it is at this time that we need to help children realize their strengths in the team.

I really like the use of the "Dragon Dreaming" approach for project activities. It has a very reasonable and environmentally friendly basis for action. Dragon Dreaming has a project wheel that includes four stages: daydreaming (generating an idea), planning, acting, and celebrating. And on the basis of this wheel of the project, four types of participants are distinguished: dreamers, planners, doers and holidaymakers. 


In american culture, "holidaymakers" are undeservedly underestimated, and poorly understood their role in the project. Celebration is the ability to rejoice in the work done, it is a time to collect the fruits of your labor, to comprehend what has been done. It's a time of gratitude and support. We are accustomed to arrange a "debriefing", analyze weaknesses, give feedback, in the form of "what did you not succeed".

What is the center of the "project approach" at the age of 14 - 17 years? The answer is very simple– I. Who am I? What world do I live in? What is my purpose? Here's a range of questions that actually concern a teenager. 


And the task of the project approach during this period is to help the child realize himself, understand his psychology, and teach him to generate ideas inscribed in the socio-cultural context. In other words, to give him the opportunity to understand what I am doing in the world. 


This period can be called a period of self-design. We teach not just to set local tasks and figure out how to solve them, but we teach to use this principle in self-development - for conscious management of one's life and all its capabilities, for free, but conditioned choice and prioritization, for flexible and efficient use of one's resource, for awareness of one's role in the world / ecosystem and the realization of this role in full and for the benefit of mankind (the desired future).

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