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.

Good Leaders Make Good Schools
The New York Times
Columnist David Brooks discusses the importance of the school principal, and how the role of the leader should be to build culture and a collaborative power structure, which aligns with our work with PBL school leaders.

Using Action-oriented, Process-driven Rubrics Today to Shape the Producers of Tomorrow
Empowered Learners 21
Here’s an interesting and useful approach to creating rubrics for PBL, to emphasize the process not just the product of students’ work. Like the subhead: “Empowering students with meaningful feedback that inspires them to take action to improve their work.”

Project Based Learning & California Marine Protected Areas
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Jo-Ann Fox used BIE’s project design approach to create four excellent conservation-advocacy projects, free to download with lots of resources and aligned with the Next Gen Science Standards.

Green Bronx Machine: Curriculum Resources for Teachers
Green Bronx Machine
Some great resources for plant-growing projects available here from Stephen Ritz, our 2016 PBL Champion at PBL World.

Scaling PBL: 3 Steps for Defining Quality With Your Staff
Getting Smart
Jenny Pieratt offers a nice overview of resources for learning about PBL, including the new High-Quality PBL Framework and BIE’s Gold Standard PBL model, with a process a school can use to sort through them to arrive at its own shared understanding.

Bringing Social Studies to Life with PBL
Third grade teacher Judy Sandler describes her semester-long project about Native Americans. I like how she began with a mini-project where students did research on stereotypes and debated the question, “Should sports teams be allowed to use Native American names and mascots?” before launching the main project, to create museum exhibits to teach their community about Native American culture.

Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners Through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies
Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning
This is a short review of a 2016 book that discusses several active/experiential strategies, including project-based learning, simulations, and problem-based learning, with “practical suggestions, guidelines, and concrete examples.”

PBL Secret Sauce: Aligning Standards to Your PBL Unit
“Tweenteacher” Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a member of the Buck’s National Faculty, has created this nifty video to guide teachers through a vital process for making sure projects are teaching content.

Teacher Casey Thomas has created a PBL planning software that “supports teachers in their implementation of TRUE PBL” – by which she means aligned with BIE’s model for “main course” projects.

Next Step STEM Magazine Winter 2018 Edition
Good article in this online magazine about STEM and PBL, for which I was interviewed.


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