by John Larmer
Editor in Chief
March 21-25, 2016
Each Friday we post a list of our favorite articles, blog posts, and other resources we’ve run across that relate to Project Based Learning.
Here’s what we liked this week:
'Deeper Learning' Approach Improves Graduation Rates, Study Finds
Good news about a set of schools that, among other innovative practices, use PBL: “Students who attend schools in networks that focus on "deeper learning" graduate in four years at rates that are about 8 percentage points higher than those of their peers, according to a recent study by the American Institutes for Research.”
Schools Learning From Schools Knows No Borders
New Tech Network President and CEO Lydia Dobbins reports on a recent gathering of over 200 school leaders from their network, including our friend Brother Patrick Howlett at Parramatta Marist High School near Sydney, a hub for increasing PBL activity in Australia.
It’s Not the Tool, It’s What You Do With It
Texas [Ed] Tech blog
Blogger Nicholas Keith defends the (wise) use of prepackaged STEM products because they can provide “training wheels” for teachers who are new to inquiry-based learning and PBL. We often disparage “dessert projects” but he makes some good points!
Project Based Learning: Am I Doing It Right? How Do I Know?
An excellent animated short video from Amy Mayer (featuring BIE’s model for Gold Standard PBL) explaining how teachers can tell if PBL is working well in their classrooms. Sample indicator: Are students asking each other questions?
12 Words That Should Be in Our Educational Vocabulary
Peter DeWitt explains what he wants to hear in educators’ conversations: “words that bring people together in a positive way or foster teachers maintaining their identity.” All of the words – especially feedback, voice, inclusivity, collaboration, relationships, engagement – sound like PBL music to our ears!
Co-design of interdisciplinary projects as a mechanism for school capacity growth
Improving Schools, Sage Publications
This article from 2014 is not new, but it just crossed our radar and it’s well worth sharing. External technical assistance providers successfully used interdisciplinary PBL in an urban high school setting to boost teachers’ collaborative practice and promote instructional improvement in a non-threatening way – unlike some professional development approaches that cause teachers to become defensive about their competence.
Project-Based Learning Gives Kindergarteners Agency
Personalize Learning blog
A guest post by Paula Ford, a teacher at Manuel De Vargas Elementary School in Cupertino, California, about a project in which her class raised money for a school in Kenya. She explains how the project allowed her to teach math, reading, writing, and the arts – and engage her kinders in a memorable experience.