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by John Larmer
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September 22, 2017
Top 9 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

Sept. 18-22, 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:

Helping Students Become Engaged Citizens
Suzie Boss offers several K-12 resources and project ideas to “foster more equitable, hands-on citizenship education.”

Factory-Model Change Won't End the Era of Factory-Model Schools
Education Week Learning Deeply blog
Lots of implications here for rethinking teacher professional development for PBL. Andy Calkins, Director of Next Generation Learning Challenges, argues persuasively that “Learning models designed to enable deep development of personalized, agency-driven, 21st-century competencies cannot take root through the use of rules-and-compliance-driven 20th-century change processes.”

Little Kids, Big Ideas: Inspiring Project-Based Learning
Getting Smart
Great advice from Nicole Assisi and Jamie Little of Thrive Public Schools on how to design projects that “inspire and motivate students to create beautiful work.”

How our school is getting results with project-based learning
Innovate My School
The principal of the Plymouth School for the Creative Arts (in England) explains how his elementary school uses PBL. Among many pearls of wisdom, I love this: “Kids who are just settling for their ‘okay’ all the time never get to their ‘great’. That’s what we’re getting to here - kids get that feeling, they’re getting really passionate about doing something great.”

“It’s Just One Dam Project After Another”
Magnify Learning
Another excellent post by high school teacher Andrew Larson, describing a project on redesigning the riverfront park area in Columbus, Ohio—with a very high-stakes presentation to city government officials, including the mayor. (About that title… see the image in the post; it has to do with a beaver, haha).

Top 10 PBL Growing Pains
Project ARC
Jill Ackers tells of PreK-3rd grade teachers’ challenges and successes when first using PBL, including finding authentic experts/audiences and answering the question, “How do I do PBL if all my kids are at different levels and some are not even on grade level?”

What Parents Need to Know About Project-Based Learning
Getting Smart
Answers to many common concerns from parents about PBL, including “will my child learn as much?” “Teachers won’t teach actual content” and “My child won’t be prepared for university or for the future.” (Note: BIE’s booklet about PBL for parents has more on this topic.)

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Projects More Authentic
New Tech Network
Sound advice from Sarah Fiess at Tech Valley High School in Albany, NY, especially for finding and sustaining community/expert partnerships.

Students build on STEM concepts –literally – to save the planet
Los Angeles USD Daily
This article highlights the partnership between the Rainforest Alliance and the STEM Academy of Hollywood, which uses PBL in “pursuing new ways to get students – particularly those from underrepresented populations – excited about practical applications for science and engineering.”


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