The Development of Innovation Skills through Project Based Learning
Keywords:innovation, project-based learning, problem-based learning
Innovation is valued worldwide. Some would argue it has been and continues to be one of the strengths of the United States. Both technical and social innovators are sought after by businesses and other organizations, seeking to invent new products, cure diseases, develop new processes, etc. But how does one become an innovator? How do we as individuals acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are critical for innovation? Are these directly and/or indirectly taught? If directly taught, are there strategies and methodologies that are more efficient and effective in teaching innovation? Can we measure the learning? Project-based and Problem-based Learning, based upon Constructivist theory, are teaching/learning strategies that may be both effective and efficient in helping students become better innovators. This review asks a number of questions, attempts to answer them, and does a review of the history and empirical research on Project-Based Learning/Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Originally, special emphasis of this study focused on the impact Project-based Learning has on 1) Creativity, 2) Self-Efficacy, 3) Energy, 4) Risk-propensity, and 5) Leadership. After no connections were found due to lack of research focusing on PBL and these constructs, the focus turned to the impact PBL has on overall academic performance.