Gold Standard PBL: What is it and why do we need it?

In 1998, the Buck Institute for Education began its quest to change schools and students’ lives with Project Based Learning.  It began humbly enough with the publication of a 34-page booklet entitled, “An Overview of Project Based Learning.” We had seen the power of this instructional method, and its impact on students in progressive school reform efforts of the 1990s, and we wanted to help other teachers use it in their classrooms. At the time, this was not a popular or even a respected point of view. The nation was moving toward No Child Left Behind. Project Based Learning was seen as a time-wasting distraction on the rigorous path to content-heavy standards and high test scores.