Top 7 PBL News Stories

July 7-13, 2017

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

Here’s what we liked this week:

Project-Based Learning Q&A
Getting Smart
Kristin Cuilla, Emily Liebtag, and Tom Vander Ark answer frequently asked questions about PBL and direct readers to useful resources from a variety of PBL-friendly sources (including BIE). Check out the graphic that captures 10 PBL Teacher Mindsets.

Real Things Teachers Can Do to Combat Fake News
PBS Newshour
When PBL focuses on authentic, relevant issues, students are likely to turn to media sources for current information. How can teachers and librarians help students assess the reliability of media reports? Victoria Pasquantonio offers practical strategies from the recent gathering of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

Four Steps for Transforming Students into Young Activists
Education Week
“How can we encourage students to take action?” Guest blogger Adam Carter, who teaches social studies at the Schultz American School in Egypt, explains how that driving question has led him to introduce a four-step process for increasing student agency. In one action project, his seventh-grade students addressed poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by using the Kiva microlending platform.

3 Tips for Helping All Students Become 21st Century Communicators
ASCD InService
Ever have a STEM project result in great student products but then fall flat when it was time for students to share their work publicly? Guest blogger Colin Seale argues that STEM education fails if it doesn’t focus on communication skills along with science, technology, engineering, and math. He outlines three tips to help students put their best ideas forward.

When Personalized Learning Includes Skateboarding: One Suburban District’s Dramatic Transformation
The Hechinger Report
Will cross-disciplinary projects that put a premium on student interest lead to increased attendance and reduced dropout rates at a large California high school? Vista High School, a winner of the XQ Super School Project, will put its model to the test this fall. Mike Elsen-Rooney offers a preview.

What Do Teens Want?
SmartBrief Education
A new report from the Fordham Institute cites dispiriting data about student engagement, with some 42 percent of high school students surveyed saying that they don’t see value in the work they do at school. The good news, according to Jennifer Cleary and Tom Morgan, is that engagement improves when students make a connection between school and the “real world.” The authors point to 21st century learning strategies as the best antidote for disengagement.

Partnership Strategies for Real-World Projects
Iowa BIG, an innovative high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has replaced the traditional curriculum with an emphasis on passion, projects, and community. Making the model work requires partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. This post highlights key strategies for connecting students and community. (Full disclosure: I’m the author.)


Follow us on social media: Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and LinkedIn. For information about BIE professional development services click here.