Top 10 PBL News Stories

Here are some articles, blog posts, research studies, and other resources I’ve recently run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

The Keys to High Quality PBL: Public Products and Presentations of Work
Education Week
Tom Vander Ark discusses the importance and power of public exhibitions of student work, highlighting his visit to a great exhibition night at School21 in England.

Ensuring That PBL Is Accessible to All
Consultant and equity advocate Frank McKay offers three strategies to help ensure that all students can access PBL: expect and support all students to succeed, promote relationship building, and empower students.

10 Characteristics of Professional Learning that Inspires Learner-Centered Innovation
Katie Martin, one of BIE’s directors of district leadership who has just published a book on the topic, makes a great point in her blog: “These same characteristics of learner-centered experiences that we want to see in classrooms should be present in professional learning as well.”

Tips for Project Based Learning
National Science Teachers Association
Sound, basic advice here from a middle school science teacher who has learned a lot from BIE and her three years of experience doing PBL in the classroom.

Project-Based Learning: A Promising Approach to Improving Student Outcomes
Researcher Barbara Condliffe, with Janet Quint and others, produced a working paper in October 2017, Project-Based Learning: A Literature Review. They conclude that PBL is “promising but not proven” and suggest how the study of PBL can move forward.

Focus on equity to ensure that all students are 'computer science material'
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
BIE National Faculty member Jorge Valenzuela provides three ways to “work toward CS equity” in a school or district. 

Projects as the Spine of the Course: Design for Deeper Learning
Social Education Magazine, NCSS
Walter Parker at the University of Washington wrote this article for the current PBL-focused issue of Social Education magazine from the National Council for the Social Studies (in which I also have an article). He describes how a series of projects created with their “Knowledge in Action” model successfully made up virtually all of a 12th grade A.P. Government course.

10 Things That Happen When Students Engage in Project-Based Learning
John Spencer
Author, professor, blogger, and former middle school teacher John Spencer makes a powerful case for PBL (and has created some nice graphics and animated videos).

Pilot project asks sixth graders to envision future of Bismarck
The Bismarck Tribune
One of BIE’s partner districts, last year’s PBL Champion District at PBL World, partnered with the North Dakota Department of Transportation to create a real-world project. A local TV station also had a nice story about the project on its news program.

I Dove Into PBL & You Should Too!
Aubrey Innovating 4 Littles blog
Primary grades teacher Aubrey Diorio describes her first projects and lessons learned from them—I love how fearless she sounds, and her willingness to share what she needs to work on.


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