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LOG-PBL & Changing Job Market

The current pandemic and the subsequent shift of our normal lives to virtual lives have set across a very strong message in the job market ie. In order to meet the coming of a knowledge-based society and face its new challenges, suitable professional talents are required.

Whether we discuss the impact of globalization, the gig economy, artificial intelligence or new technologies, it seems that our learners are entering an uncharted work world that will require them to be much more adaptive, creative, flexible, growth-oriented and skill-focused than any previous generations. We will have to prepare children for jobs that may not exist now but will be seen arising in future. This means we need to inculcate new skills which will help them thrive in the 21st century. Just like skills that were valued 10 years ago stand obsolete today, it won’t come as a surprise if today’s skillsets become null and void a decade later. The swift change in technologies will reshape how we and the future generations will live and work.

Hence to prepare the children for the 21st-century world, we at Vega Schools, the top 5 schools in Gurgaon by Education World, believe in catering education that will equip children with the required skills to sustain in the ever-changing job market. This will happen only when we shift from the traditional rote learning method to a more process-based focusing on deeper understanding and relevant to real-life – ie Problem Based Learning.

Traditional schools are primarily known for their dependence on rote learning, teacher-led authoritative pedagogy, confinement to the classroom and preference for standardisation over personalisation of learning and assessment. This pedagogical approach is seen as the primary culprit in making the schooling experience irrelevant and distant to real-life – alienating millions of children from a learning experience. While the traditional approach did help in creating a large workforce who can perform the same repetitive task, it couldn’t create curious learners who can add value to the task and make something new. Most students from traditional instruction have difficulty adapting to the workplace and do not meet the demands of the industry.

In this blog, we will talk about how Problem Based learning pedagogy will help prepare children for the future world so that they can sustain themselves in the ever-changing job market.

PBL has been built on progressive human-centric (as against content/curriculum centric) philosophies. It is an approach where learners learn critical competencies and skills through comprehensively crafted real-life projects, which are linked laterally to various domains or subjects.  The intent is on building deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills and not just remembering facts. Learning is conducted in groups with active mentoring and coaching by teachers, mentors and subject matter experts.

In the process of learning, learners play the roles of active problem solvers, and are responsible for learning and cultivating self-oriented lifelong learning skills, problem-solving competence, and communication skills for teamwork. Teachers, on the other hand, play secondary roles, where they become partners in learners’ problem-solving. They are the guides, consultants and coaches. PBL aims to encourage students to ponder on “what to learn and how to learn” by issuing ambiguous structures and definitions in real situations, and they are there to change, modify and expand the process by collaborative learning. Learners that were involved in meaningful or real learning situations were thus able to adapt to problems in real life.

Learners in groups can find ways to develop real-life problem-solving capabilities and develop the competencies to become self-guided learners. This ultimately allows students to step outside their expectations about how to learn

Through the problems given by, and guidance at levels appropriate to their comprehension from the learning leaders, they are inspired to proactively practice collecting, sorting, and analysing evidence and in building arguments based on careful observation and thoughtful analysis. They become involved in the curriculum.

There are many reasons why problem based learning may be the best pedagogy for all students. Indeed, PBL is intended to be engaging, collaborative, tech-ready, student-owned and personalized. But there may not be a better reason for PBL than that of preparing all students for a rapidly changing world – especially the future of work.

Below we have compiled a list of some of the ways problem based learning can help prepare young students for the workforce of tomorrow. 

  • PBL & Creativity: Creativity is no more required for specialised jobs or professions only but in all spheres of the professional life be it marketing, selling, innovating, people management. Creativity leads to new ideas which then becomes a reality. Everyone has this skill but we don’t know how to use it. PBL project that addresses real-world challenges that allow students to take on various roles where they can optimize their expertise and assume high levels of responsibility. PBL allows students to often have choices and multiple outcomes
  • PBL & Communication: In PBL learners are required to showcase their project to the classroom and sometimes beyond. They also work in collaboration with their fellow students, teachers. In both situations, they develop good communication skills.
  • PBL & Leadership skills: The new world of work will require everyone to be capable of exercising leadership skills. Because PBL first focuses on addressing real-world problems, it places students right where they need to be. PBL projects not only push them into global citizen mode but also allows them to access, practice and showcase their individual leadership skills to the world.
  • PBL & Entrepreneurship skills: Entrepreneurs are not always born; few can be created with the right education. Because high-quality PBL expects students to tackle real-world challenges, invest some of themselves through choices and take on specific roles, they develop an entrepreneurial spirit. PBL has students making decisions, investigating possible directions, and discussing approaches with peers and professionals.
  • PBL and Collaboration Skills: In order to address real-world challenges, PBL motivates students to team up with multiple partners like community groups, peers, and businesses outside their schools. And this opportunity allows them to interact, learn and showcase their work to a larger audience beyond the classroom. As a by-product, learners’ partner with leaders and professors/mentors who will guide them during their higher education and professional life. Or at least learners will know whom to collaborate with for their work. Authentic collaboration is considered to be one of the most important employability skills
  • PBL & Time Management skills: When it comes to Time-management, most of us fail to organize things within the time frame. In PBL, in order to have an entire project completed by a set date, learners first determine how much time they must invest overall and then break that amount of time down further into smaller, more manageable chunks. This prepares them for the modern-day workforce.
  • PBL & Problem Solving skills: With good Problem-Solving skills, every employee will think out of the box and solve problems in a new and innovative way. PBL does that to its learners. 
  • PBL & Self-directed learning: PBL instils Self-direction skill as learners learn to break any task down into manageable steps in order to decide what to do next. The drive to accomplish those tasks leads to self-direction. We all know how this role is important if someone wants to start a business or a project.PBL projects assigned are almost always on topics that interest the student and because they have such an active role in their education, the learners develop a lifelong desire to fill their knowledge tank. This is ideal for learning new skills in order to adapt to ever-changing environments. 

Integrating practical talents with practical industrial experiences and competencies can help avoid discrepancy and close the gap between vocational education and the practical demands of industries. The modern-day workplace requires much more than following directions and meeting deadlines. Instead, employees of today are expected to think outside the box, learn new information quickly, and offer valuable input when working in groups.

These Student-centered active learning strategies are heralded in the pedagogical literature as the best way to prepare students for the ever-changing job market. the goal of PBL is for the students to be self-directed, independent learners who can apply theoretical learning to practical situation Vega Schools, one of the best schools in Gurugram, have thus integrated Problem-based Learning pedagogy into their CBSE Curriculum to make sure that their learners get the best of both the worlds. Please feel free to connect with us for more details.