HQPBL Update: Less Than One Year To Go!


Here at BIE, we have focused our attention and support exclusively on Project Based Learning for 20 years. And in that time we have created and honed a framework for defining what great PBL looks like, which we currently call Gold Standard PBL.

But over recent years, as interest in and demand for PBL has skyrocketed in classrooms and schools around the nation and world, more and more amazing educators and experts are bringing PBL into their practice. As they add their incredibly diverse talents and experiences to the mix, we are seeing “PBL” as we have understood it evolve and grow.

While this is an incredibly exciting time, it also highlights an important issue: as PBL is used more frequently and more broadly, it is critical that the field has a consistent and shared definition for what high quality Project Based Learning is. Otherwise, PBL is at risk of being interpreted too loosely or implemented at low quality, to the detriment of students and teachers.

The HQPBL (High Quality Project Based Learning) campaign is an effort to address that issue.

What is this effort and what is BIE’s Role?
HQPBL is a collaborative and highly inclusive campaign to define, create, and share a framework for powerful Project Based Learning in this new era. The collectively agreed upon HQPBL framework that will grow out of this work is intended to provide quality and consistency across classrooms, schools, districts, and states as well as with commercial publishers, curriculum developers, and professional development providers. For all of us who value PBL, it will be an anchor and a resource to determine what high quality PBL is and looks like.

With support from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we at BIE have been shepherding the process. Bringing our decades of experience and knowledge to bear, we have helped convene a highly diverse group of voices from around the world who are drafting, testing, and revising what will become the HQPBL framework.

The heart of this effort is collaboration because in order to create an exemplary, co-defined understanding, we need to canvas the best and the brightest from the world of PBL. And with so many wonderful, innovative educators working in the field today, that has been a true joy. Let’s take a look at who is part of this kinetic collaboration:

Steering Committee
HQPBL is being led by an amazingly talented and inclusive steering committee of 27 members who represent a variety of stakeholder groups, from practitioners to prominent thought leaders. There are members from all over the world including the US, Finland, Chile, Korea, and China.

As they put pen to paper and draft the first iterations of the HQPBL framework, the committee is responsible for the initial ideation of what this framework could look like. They are also the ones sitting down with the public, with teachers, and with other organizations to gather feedback and adapt the framework based on what they hear.

Advisory Team
The campaign is also being aided by an advisory team, a diverse collection of 90 thinkers, leaders, and practitioners helping to shape the HQPBL Framework. Ron Berger (the Chief Academic Officer of Expeditionary Learning), Tony Wagner (the author of Creating Innovators), Yong Zhao (professor and celebrated author), and Chuck Cadle (the CEO of Destination Imagination) are just a few of the inspiring educators who make up our team. They are making invaluable additions to feedback sessions, communication campaigns, and testing efforts.

The PBL Community
The final and most vital group leading the HQPBL effort is you—so get involved! We are currently moving through the final year of the HQPBL campaign and we are proud to share our first draft of the HQPBL framework.

It is currently open for public comment and feedback and we need your input. So please visit the HQPBL.org website and lend your voice to the process:

• Download the draft of the Framework and provide feedback on the site
• Sign-up to receive project updates and Framework drafts
• Follow the movement on Twitter at #PBL