Top 5 PBL News Stories

Sept. 26-30, 2016

Each Friday we post a list of articles, blog posts, and other resources we’ve run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Here’s what we liked this week:

Imagine a Super School
XQ Super School Project
Your might have heard about XQ’s nationwide bus tour this summer to promote an effort to reimagine high school education. This new organization brings together a diverse, cutting-edge team and provides thought-provoking resources on its website. Now they’ve announced the winning 10 school design proposals, each of which gets $10 million – and most include PBL (or something close to it by another name).

My Mixed Feelings on XQ’s “Super Schools”
Education Week
Rick Hess expresses some reservations about the challenge of making all the trendy ideas in the winning proposals work in practice, since previous attempts like this have shown how difficult it is to improve student learning outcomes.

Teaching Middle-Schoolers Climate Change Without Terrifying Them
National Public Radio
Shocking statistic: half of U.S. science teachers spend less than two hours a year on climate change. This is the story of a Florida teacher who decided to have her students act as climate scientists and do data-gathering and action-oriented projects.

Getting Past the Broken Teachers vs. Tech Debate
Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
I like Thomas Arnett’s thinking in this post. Technology may be able to largely replace the information-delivering role of a teacher, and “advance the education system’s ability to serve all students.” But teachers are still needed to “coach and mentor their students to make learning relevant and meaningful, and they foster students’ interest in tackling complex, real-world problems.”

Arts-Infused Project-Based Learning: Crafting Beautiful Work
This post includes a nice video about School 21 in London, showing how it designs multi-disciplinary projects, uses a tuning protocol for collaborative feedback, and builds a culture of critique and revision.

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