Project Method

An old Chinese proverb states:
"I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand"

The validity of the project method is stressed by Jobey when she says "only in the act of doing does one discover that the process is more important than the process is more important than the product. It is in the process that the learning takes place.  Having had their own experience in creative expression, adults become more sensitive teachers and more well-rounded persons" (Learning and Teaching through the Senses, Westminister Press, Philadelphia) as cited in Gagnel.
Project is defined by various authors.  Stevenson   describes it as a problematic act carried to completion in its natural setting, while Kilpatrick states that it is a whole-hearted purposeful activity proceeding in a social environment.  The ultimate project is the learning activity which is problematic in nature aimed at a definite attainable goal, having purposeful, natural, life like units procedure to attain the goal, directed and planned by the student, practical in nature, with emphasis on a single, complete unit of purposeful activity resulting in a concrete achievement..

Types of projects: Projects may be of two forms, individual or group. Edge divides project into four categories: information, attitude, habit and service.

Values of projects: There are many values of projects.  Some of which are student involvement heightens interest; it gives students freedom for thought and action,  provides for individual differences.  A spirit of cooperation etc. benefits are related to the two dimensions i.e. the learning process which results which has values to the class/other people.

Principles for effective use of the Project Method: Preparation is key. The students should be involved in discussion of objectives of the project; securing the participation of the group at the planning stage to first phase of project is essential.  Students should be involved in discussion of objectives of the project: securing the participation of the group at the planning  stage is essential. Students should  be involved in planning which form the project should take, the time frame  the cost, the extent of its impact on other people and how it will be evaluated .  In the execution of the project, the teacher is on ever-present source of encouragement and resource; reminds the students of deadlines.  The evaluation of the project, is a critical look at the work done.  The students and teacher decides whether the project was successful whether it accomplished the goals set for it and what areas are deficient.

Problems in the Project method:
There are many values for project method. At the same time, there are problems too.  Some of the problems that are focused are that the project becomes an end in itself, at times, and one forgets that it is primarily a teaching technique.  To overcome this, the project must be determined by the objectives of the class; some times students loose interest as projects take a long time to complete.

Using projects in Teaching Nursing:
Utilising the steps of the project method effectively, several projects, individual and group can be used as a teaching method.  Information ,attitude ,habit and service project can also be used.  Some variations in the project method can also be considered i.e. as described by Tauns.
A.                Search-out - the experience of other project
B.                 Seek- the factors of an experience project
C.                 Observe - the experience project and
D.                Go - through the experience project

Research done in Nursing on Project Method:

Several studies have been done to focus on the validity of the project.  Stanley (1989)examined how a project based on the research process was effective in teaching nursing research to post-basic registered nurses.  The subjects described the practical experience as the most enjoyable aspects and least enjoyable as interpretations and writing up of results.  Attitude to nursing research and improved and or remained positive.

Conclusion: Project method is considered as a useful method of teaching learning in nursing and other sciences.

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