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(Note: I’m away this week, so instead of the usual PBL News roundup, here’s a special post after our busy summer of providing PBL professional development.)

Near the end of the Buck Institute’s PBL workshops for teachers, we ask participants to reflect on how their thinking about PBL has changed as a result of the workshop. I asked our trusty facilitators, the National Faculty, to send me some highlights and here’s a sampling of (unedited) quotes from teachers:


table { font-family: arial, sans-serif; border-collapse: collapse; width: 500px; } td, th { border: 1px solid #dddddd; text-align: left; padding: 8px; } tr:nth-child(even) { background-color: #dddddd; } I used to think… But now I think/know… PBL was almost impossible I can do it confidently PBL was time consuming and unrealistic with a great team it can be easily done PBL was a hard process it is do-able and fun! that the teacher directed most of the lesson the students can have a big impact on their learning that teachers used projects to kill time it can be so much more than that PBL was a little overwhelming I’m loving it! PBL was just another DOE incentive it’s here to stay and I’m excited about it! PBL was only for CTE, tech, and secondary PBL is for even us elementary teachers PBL was doing projects PBL is main course PBL was all about the parent working at home with the students PBL is all of us working together PBL was unstructured and hard to plan with the planning process (that I learned) it is a thoughtful well planned experience for my students PBL would be "one more thing" PBL is manageable, incorporating some of the tools I have used in the past I wanted to teach this way sometimes I want to teach this way all the time PBL was intensely complex, lasting months at a time it is much simpler and possible to do with just one teacher! PBL was just getting the kids to work in interest groups and completing a project how beneficial and impactful the projects can be PBL was all about research and collaboration PBL is so much more about critical thinking and getting closer to our Ideal Graduate! PBL was about the product that the process is the goal PBL was a set of rigid rules I can use it to enhance my curriculum and teaching style we were already doing all parts of PBL there is a lot of room for growth it would be difficult to align to and meet
standards it’s easy and great! it only meant hands-on projects (building something) it’s an all-encompassing way of teaching using a variety of engaging methods it’s done by only the most experienced and gifted teachers and it’s a secret skill it can be learned and taught with a group of other teachers and it seems similar to what I’ve wanted to do it was something our team was doing very well already we have learned so many useful and relevant tools to enhance our practice it meant kids focus on projects after learning learning happens through the project worthwhile worthwhile and transformative that a project was completely student led how to “teach” the content but allow the students to do the majority of the work and learning PBL could be used for simple, creative projects that PBL takes time, planning, and cooperation PBL would be unrealistic for my students it can be scaffolded as much or little as needed that it would be an uphill battle to see PBL incorporated into our school I am very hopeful that it can and will be!! PBL was very complicated and I was scared to try it I can do it because the steps have been broken down into manageable chunks you could (or needed to) cover multiple standards the importance of focusing on only specific ones that will be assessed while embedding others as needed it was the same as STEM but it’s really not even close! I didn’t realize there were so many steps in PBL projects are just based on theme units I can take it to the next step and incorporate other factors and the community PBL would be too hard in Kindergarten it can work by both integrating curriculum goals and engaging students PBL sounded interesting it is a necessary component that has been missing from our instruction PBL was just creating an end product all of the steps involved that make an amazing student experience PBL was all about creating a plan to save the world it is a plan to help students connect to their world PBL was a project run by students the teacher still has a key role in being a facilitator it could be overwhelming to my students a hook or entry event is helpful to spark the project PBL units were this giant dinosaur to tackle I feel far less overwhelmed and very much prepared that I was an excellent teacher who was able to craft great learning experiences for my students, but then… …THERE CAME THE BUCK INSTITUTE PBL experience! Now I realize that my role should be that of a master facilitator. that experiencing PD/workshops were boring I am so much on cloud 9 with BIE/PBL    


OK, so some of these were about BIE’s workshop itself, not PBL per se, but I couldn’t resist (and these are from many workshops, not just a few standouts). But as you can tell, the evidence suggests that teachers are going to be trying PBL if they hadn’t before, or if they had, they’ll use PBL with greater success and depth. Great news for both teachers and students!


For more information about BIE’s professional development services click here.

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