Top 8 PBL News Stories

Feb. 27 – Mar. 3, 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:

Reimagining the School Day: Innovative Schedules for Teaching and Learning
Center for American Progress
I’ve always thought (ok, since about 1989, when I read Horace’s Compromise) that time was the biggest barrier for teachers trying to improve or change their instructional practices. This report shows that students benefit when instructional time is more flexible and teachers have more collaborative planning time, both of which we recommend for PBL. Several sample schedules are shown from elementary and secondary schools, with data on operations and cost.

Five Guidelines to Make School Innovation Successful
KQED Mind/Shift
Katrina Schwartz reports on how Science Leadership Academy, a public magnet school in Philadelphia, “focuses on student inquiry through projects in a community that cultivates a culture of care.” Great insights that align with our view on what is important for PBL: “simplicity,” “common language,” and “operations” matters; that “culture, talent, and instruction must align;” and why ”startup is hard, but so is sustainability.”

Town Square: Project Based Learning
Hawai’i Public Radio
An in-depth radio discussion that makes the case for PBL, with Ted Dintersmith, executive producer of the film Most Likely to Succeed, Buffy Cushman-Patz, founder of the Honolulu Public Charter School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability, and BIE’s executive director Bob Lenz.

English Language Learners: How Your State Is Doing
National Public Radio
This is a comprehensive, nicely-displayed set of data on the state of education for English Learners across the U.S. We and others have been making the case for PBL as an excellent tool for engaging and teaching ELL students: see this blog post and this blog post and this blog post.

Best Future City Project Plan Award
Project Management Institute Educational Foundation
In this national engineering contest, students in grades 6-8 were challenged to “envision tomorrow’s urban public spaces and how best to meet the needs of diverse populations.” They created a tabletop model, used SimCity software, and wrote an essay that articulated the rationale for their design.

Deeper Learning – for Teachers
Teacher, BIE National Faculty member, blogger, author, and now instructional coach Andrew Miller offers great insights on coaching teachers on the use of PBL, drawing from his recent experience at Puxi Middle School in Shanghai, China.

Drawing a Line Between Civics Education and Activism
Education Week
Here’s a thoughtful piece for PBL teachers: should they design projects that involve political activism, or stick with projects that lean toward more traditional civics education?

Andy Weir’s Best Seller ‘The Martian’ Gets a Classroom-Friendly Makeover
The New York Times
No direct mention of PBL here, but lots of ideas that could inspire projects based on the science-geeky book and wonderful movie.


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