Project Method, the

Project Method, the

 

a teaching method by which students acquire knowledge through the planning and execution of practical projects.

The project method originated in the second half of the 19th century in US schools. It was based on pragmatic teaching methods and was elaborated by the American educators J. and E. Dewey, W. H. Kilpatrick, and E. Collins. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, widespread criticism of the method arose in the USA as a result of the method’s unsystematic approach and the decreased emphasis on the theoretical knowledge of the fundamentals of science in public schools. However, methods analogous to the project method continue to be used in American schools— for example, instruction by units of work, or subjects of a practical nature (”The Home and Family Life,” “The Uses of Trees”).

In the USSR during the first years of Soviet power, the project method was partially applied in experimental schools and in some public schools. The method was denounced in the Sept. 5, 1931, resolution of the Central Committee of the ACP(B), entitled On the Elementary and Secondary School, after which it ceased to be used in Soviet schools.

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