Main educational projects in teaching are:
(i) Providing a Situation
A project should arise out of a need felt by pupils and it should never be forced on them. It should be purposeful and significant. It should look important and must be interesting.
For this the teacher should always be on the look out to find situation that arise and discuss them with students to discover their interests.
Situations may be provided by different methods. Some such methods may include talking to students on the topics of common interest e.g. how did they spend their holidays, what did they see in Delhi etc.
(ii) Choosing and Proposing
From various definitions of an educational project we get the same underlying ideas (a) school tasks are to be as real and as purposeful as the tasks of wider life beyond the school walls'(b) they are of such a nature that the pupil is genuinely eager to carry them out in order to achieve a desirable and clearly realized aim.
According to Kilpatrick, “the part of the pupil and the part of the teacher, in most of the school work, depends largely on who does the proposing”. The teacher should refrain from proposing any project otherwise the whole purpose of the method would be defeated.
Teacher should only tempt the students for a particular project by providing a situation but the proposal for the project should finally come from students. The teacher must exercise guidance in selection of the project and if the students make an unwise choice, the teacher should tactfully guide them for a better project. The essentials of a good project are:
(i) It should have evident worth for the individual or the group that undertakes them.
(ii) The project must have a bearing on a great number of subjects and the knowledge acquired through it may be applicable in a variety of ways.
(iii) The project should be timely.
(iv) The project should be challenging.
(v) The project should be feasible.
It is for the teacher to see that the purpose of the project is clearly defined and understood.
The students be encouraged by the teacher to plan out the details of the project. In the process of planning teacher has to act only as a guide and he should give suggestions at times but actual planning is left to the students.
Once the project has been chosen and the details of the project have been planned, the teacher should help the students in executing the project according to the plan.
Since execution of a project is the longest step in the project method so it needs a lot of patience on the part of the students and the teacher. During this step the teacher should carefully supervise the pupils in manipulative skills to prevent waste of materials and to guard accidents.
The teacher should assign work to different students in accordance with their tastes, interests, aptitudes and capabilities. Teacher should see that every member of the group gets a chance to do something.
Teacher should constantly check up the relation between the chalked out plans and the developing project and as far as possible ‘at the spot’ changes and modification be avoided. However if such changes become unavoidable these should be noted and reasons explained for future guidance.
The evaluation of the project should be done both by the pupils and the teacher. The pupils should estimate the qualities of what they have done before the teacher gives his evaluation.
The evaluation of the project has to be done in the light of plans, difficulties in the execution and achieved results. Let the students have self criticism and look through their own failings and findings.
This step is very useful because as a result of the project, the pupils can know the values of the information, interest, skills and attitudes that have been modified by the project.