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.

Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning
Just this week, the new “Framework for High Quality PBL” has been released. BIE, along with Getting Smart, facilitated a year-long process to develop the Framework which involved many PBL experts and organizations. The goal is to build a shared agreement among teachers, schools, districts, states, education support organizations, and curriculum providers about what effective PBL looks like from the student perspective, no matter what particular model or approach is being used.

Project-Based Learning (research summary)
Digital Promise
An excellent article describing PBL and summarizing some of the research on its outcomes and implementation. It includes a persuasive, well-produced video, “PBL: Raising Student Achievement for All Learners,” about the recent research in Michigan by Nell Duke and Anne-Lise Halvorsen, who found positive results for second graders taught via PBL.

Standards-Based Assessment in PBL
Middle school teacher Matt Weyers offers guidance for teachers—including tips for standards-based grading— based on lessons learned after several years of using PBL.

You can’t teach empathy — but project-based learning can!
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Love the title of this post, which tells the story of high school journalism adviser Michael Hernandez, sharing his students’ enthusiasm and ideas for social justice projects with a real-world impact.

Global CTE Classroom Projects
Asia Society
This is an excellent PBL resource, aligned to the Common Core State Standards and  written by career/tech and math and science teachers. It includes detailed directions for teachers for projects about food security, clean energy, women’s health, and cybersecurity, and includes student handouts, assessment rubrics, and content background materials.

10 Principles for Building a High-Quality System of Assessments
Deeper Learning
This set of principles and the accompanying report offer state and district leaders a blueprint for a 21st century, comprehensive assessment system (which I can see PBL fitting into).

Junior School PBL Video
Hillfield Strathallan College/PBL Canada Institute
Here’s an absolutely charming 2-minute video of early-elementary students and their teachers describing some projects they did recently (after the teachers experienced BIE’s PBL 101 workshop at the Ohio PBL Institute). The video promotes the PBL Canada Institute being held this year August 20-22 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Park-Based Learning
Fester Edu
I almost hesitated to add yet another “PBL” to the list of edu-acronyms, but this is a good one (and James Fester is a member of our stellar National Faculty, plus I share his love of the outdoors and the National Parks). James provides a well-done, comprehensive set of PBL resources for teachers who are “interested in engaging, authentic classroom learning while inspiring an appreciation for the natural and cultural heritage of our nation.”

How Does Assessment Work in a PBL Unit?
John Spencer’s blog
Another good post from teacher/author John Spencer, explaining self, peer, and teacher assessment in PBL.

Nampa 3rd graders design playgrounds for every 'buddy'
A nice local news story about how 3rd graders did a PBL project to design and propose (to the city council) ideas for playgrounds that could include people with disabilities.


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