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Mindfulness in the Classroom

Project-Based Learning Can Prepare Students for the Real World

Employers around the globe are wanting to hire individuals with skill sets that meet the requirements of the 21st century.  Businesses are always evolving as the world evolves.  However, is education improving at the same rate that the world requires?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has specifically documented the skills businesses are wanting to see in applicants.

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Strong work ethic
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Initiative
  • Technical skills

Are these skills explicitly taught in our current traditional education system?  If your child is not specifically being taught these skills does that mean your child will be behind another child in obtaining a job when they go to apply for jobs?  Are we merely hoping our children will pick up these skills by chance?

Educational models are being implemented and being founded to teach these skills specifically because they are the future skills needed to be successful in life.  Within these models of teaching, there are many options to deliver content and challenge students to learn up to and maybe even past their potential.  One method is the project-based learning method (PBL).

Within PBL there are 7 attributes to ensure it is done well. is an organization to help families and teachers know how to implement this teaching strategy within classrooms.  First, there needs to be a challenging problem or question that students can engage with.  Examples could be: How can we mitigate the negative effects of plastic?  How can we keep the Spokane River clean and safe?  How can we build empathy for our ancestors?

These open-ended questions can allow all students to then find their own solutions.  With sustained inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, critique and revision, reflection, and a public-facing product, all students will be held accountable to develop and learn the skills the real world requires.

A teacher should be given the autonomy to develop projects that challenge students to use their knowledge and abilities today, within and without the classroom to make a difference in the world.  The traditional education model does not expect students to act today but it encourages them to sit by idly and be filled with information instead of being an active change agent in their world today at their ability level.

If you would like to see a world-class educational model that explicitly teaches students the skills and knowledge that are required for the real world, then please visit