A driving question in Project-Based Learning (PBL) serves as the anchor for the project, providing a clear goal and focus. Here's how it guides project-based learning:
- Focuses Inquiry: The driving question provides a clear and compelling goal for the project. It acts as a "north star" guiding the students' investigations.
- Promotes Depth and Complexity: A good driving question encourages students to explore the subject matter in depth and tackle complex problems. This can lead to higher-level thinking and deeper understanding of the material.
- Incorporates Higher-Order Thinking Skills: Good driving questions often involve critical thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and creation. They push students to go beyond simple memorization and understanding and apply what they've learned in new ways.
- Engages Student Interest: A well-chosen driving question can capture students' interests and motivate them to engage with the project. It can be based on real-world problems or scenarios that students find relevant and intriguing.
- Frames the Learning Process: The driving question serves as a roadmap for the project, defining what students need to know and what they will be doing. It gives structure to the students' work and helps to organize their learning.
- Facilitates Interdisciplinary Learning: Driving questions can often incorporate various subject areas, allowing for interdisciplinary learning. For example, a question about designing a sustainable city might involve principles of geography, science, social studies, and even art.
- Supports Assessment: The driving question, along with the project's learning goals, can help to frame the criteria for assessing the project. It provides a clear end goal that both students and teachers can use to evaluate the effectiveness of the learning process.