The Project Method in Education

The project method or project engineering is a training process developed in the polytechnic schools of engineering and architecture in Europe (Germany and France) from the 18th century.

At the end of undergraduate degrees, usually in the last year, students had to develop a project, using the skills and tools learned, applying them to concrete problems experienced and witnessed in the world of work.

The philosophy of the project expands throughout the twentieth century to various activities, including in the philosophy of education, with its main cultist William Heard Kilpatrick.

In this child-centered project method of education, it develops in progressive stages, where each student or group of students is presented with a concrete problem, which must be solved with the minimum of guidance from the teacher, developed here as a tutor. to help the process of selecting relevant information and communicating it. In the communication process the tutor should accentuate the awareness of the knowledge gained.

Instead of traditional education, based on static and disconnected content from the world, the student in the project method is invited to explore their world and the context in which they live. Exploration of the world must be built on its capacities for recognition, sensation and affect. This self-recognition is the motivation to develop your learning. The educational process is largely guided by the personal interests of the students, who produce their didactic objects.

Project work must have an individual and group component. The group component is essential for the development of rules of coexistence, the management of democratic rules and the development of discussions about the different parts of knowledge, with a view to their integration. The knowledge produced is a shared and shared knowledge.

Kilpatrick developed his method through 4 project groups:

  • • the construction (how to write a part)
  • • the fun (like trying a concert),
  • • problematization (eg discussing a complex social problem such as poverty)
  • • learning specific techniques (which requires personal commitment, whether in sport, music, or any other activity).