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October 20, 2017
Top 10 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

Oct. 20, 2017

(Note: Our PBL news roundup is now being posted every other Friday, alternating with posts from me on various PBL topics.)

Here are some articles, blog posts, research studies, and other resources I’ve recently run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Superintendent Leadership For PBL
Getting Smart
Another good podcast from Tom Vander Ark, reporting on the story of a superintendent in Ohio who worked with community and staff to help their students become “Fearless Thinkers.”

A Bell Schedule Without Bells: Redesigning the High School Infrastructure
KnowledgeWorks
I missed this when it appeared in August but it’s a good one, with guidance and examples for school leaders who want to create more “learner-centered” (and PBL-friendly) high school schedules.

Nurturing Students’ Climb to Success: Why Engagement and Motivation Matter
Education Week Special Report
When I first saw this headline I thought, “of course engagement and motivation matter, and PBL sure can help with that.” But when I read through the report I found no mention of what to many of us seems obvious: students are not engaged and motivated because too often, traditional instruction is boring and meaningless. I applaud their emphasis on the importance of relationships, but…

How Making an Impact on the World Motivates Students
KQED Mind/Shift
Some great projects here that connect students to the global community. Love this quote from my colleague Suzie Boss: “If we teach kids about the problems of the world without giving them a recipe for doing something, that’s just a recipe for depression.”

I see your lips moving…
New Tech Network
“… but all I hear is “blah blah blah,” says high school teacher Sarah Leiker, describing how students typically perceive a teacher’s lecture when it is not explicitly connected to students’ “need to know” questions in a project. She offers five steps to make sure this does not happen.

PBL Secret Sauce: The Entry Level Event
TweenTeacher.com
Teacher, author, and blogger Heather Walpert-Gawron has created a series of short videos about her popular middle school project-based “Superheroes” unit, and in this post she explains how Hurricane Harvey in Texas became her entry event.

10 Reasons Why Inquiry-Based Learning Is Awesome
Global Digital Citizen Foundation
Lee Watanabe Crockett relays teacher-coach Sylvia Duckworth’s nice Sketchnote infographic that makes the case for PBL.

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)
Hawai’i Public Radio
How educators can help the world’s poorer students “leapfrog” the achievement gap between them and richer students by using PBL-ish, innovative approaches.

How to Redefine Structured After-school Activities So Kids Will Be Engaged
Youth Today
This post advocates redesigning after-school programs to include more PBL, referencing BIE’s Gold Standard PBL model.

PBL is a Powerful Trauma-Informed Approach
LifePractice Learning
Ginger Lewman points out that PBL promotes resiliency in students who have been affected by trauma in their lives.


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