by John Larmer
Editor in Chief
Jan. 23-27, 2017
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:
Bored Out of Their Minds
Harvard Education Magazine
This article makes the case for PBL (without naming it explicitly) by pointing to surveys showing that boredom increases greatly as kids go through the K-12 years and this has disastrous effects. I love this comment by a researcher: “We need to get away from thinking that the opposite of ‘bored’ is ‘entertained.’ It’s ‘engaged.’ It’s not about pumping cartoons and virtual reality games into the classroom, it’s about finding ways to make curriculum more resonant, personalized, and meaningful for every student.”
9 Ways to Inspire Student Inventors
Lots of wisdom here that PBL teachers can learn from, including ways to spark students’ creativity, connect with experts and mentors, create opportunities for students to show and discuss their work, understand how to fail successfully, and learn how to handle fear.
The Power of Learning by Doing
The Wall Street Journal
Subtitle: “From the Beatles to Einstein, the key to creativity is often going for it and learning from your mistakes.” This short reflection (with quotes from John Lennon and Ringo Starr) raised questions for me about PBL—how much and what can be learned via a project and a constructivist approach, as opposed to direct instruction and drill?
Project-Based Learning for Global Readiness
Andrew Miller, a long-time member of the BIE National Faculty, wrote this post from his new position as instructional coach at the Shanghai American School. He describes three excellent projects designed by his colleagues that focus on global competencies.
Making The Case For Kids To Have An Entrepreneurship Education
Entrepreneur Middle East
This article by the CEO of BizWorld United Arab Emirates makes the point that bringing entrepreneurship into schools (which projects can do) teaches students innovation and creativity, how to deal with failure, and encourages community involvement. (btw, BizWorld is based in San Francisco and we have a project from them for upper elementary grades on our PBLU site.)
Finnish-ing Touches on Education
The article begins with the usual disclaimers about comparing a country like Finland with the U.S. But there are lessons we can draw from the world’s highest-performing education system that align with PBL, such as: they emphasize critical thinking and group problem-solving and real-world challenges “with direct personal connections, such as designing and building a school greenhouse.”
Seven Steps to Make Your Classroom More Like a Google Workplace
Education Week Teacher
No mention of PBL here, but it sounds very familiar. Researchers have identified ways teachers can create “higher-performing, happier classrooms” including “teach mindsets, release control, encourage teaming, give feedback.”