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by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

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November 30, 2018
Top PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

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

The Project Method: The Use of the Purposeful Act in the Education Process
Teachers College Record, Fall 1918       (link is to full text at History Matters)
I can’t let fall 2018 go by without noting that it’s been 100 years since William Kilpatrick published this influential paper, which along with John Dewey’s work around that time launched the modern-day use of PBL. Read more here about their influence on our model for Gold Standard PBL.

NPR Student Podcast Challenge
National Public Radio
This segment aired on the “Morning Edition” show of Nov. 15 and talks about PBL, with interview clips from me and our National Faculty member Heather Wolpert-Gawron. Pass the word to students about this create-a-podcast contest, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31.

The Path to PBL with Bob Lenz
Reimagine Schools
This podcast features Buck’s ED talking about high-quality PBL and drawing from his book Transforming Schools Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards to “explain why all school administrators should aspire to become “Redesign Leaders.” 

Gold Standard PBL: Project Based Teaching
Overcoming 5 Barriers to the Implementation of PBL

Cool Cat Teacher
Two podcasts by Vicki Davis, who talked with Suzie Boss, primary author of our new book, Project Based Teaching, and me.

Motivation and Engagement in Student Assignments
The Education Trust
This important report examines “two powerful levers for engaging learners – choice and relevancy” which were not often found in a study of teachers’ assignments. The authors recommend such PBL-aligned strategies as “Teach Rigorous Content Through Themes, Essential Questions, and Universal Understandings” and “Connect With Student Values, Interests, and Goals.”

RAND Education Assessment Finder: Measuring social, emotional, and academic competencies
The RAND Corporation
Here’s a useful resource for PBL educators – an online tool “that provides information about assessments of K-12 students’ interpersonal, intrapersonal, and higher-order cognitive competencies.”

Project-Based Schools Close Silicon Valley Gaps
Getting Smart
Tom Vander Ark describes three PBL-using schools in the Evergreen School district in San Jose, a diverse district with many low-income families: Bulldog Tech and Lobo School of Innovation, both of which serve middle-grades students, and (our beloved) Katherine Smith Elementary School.

Project-Based Learning and the Research Paper
Edutopia
An 11th grade English teacher explains how she transformed the traditional research paper assignment into a more engaging, authentic PBL-style project. Love this quote: “I’ll never teach the research paper any other way because the PBL model we used helped develop real-world problem solvers, thinkers, and doers instead of rule followers.”

Defining the Teacher’s Role in Project-Based Learning
ISTE
Suzie Boss crosswalks our Project Based Teaching Practices with the ISTE standards for using technology in education.

To Learn, Students Need to DO Something
Cult of Pedagogy
Jennifer Gonzalez (in a self-described “rant” on podcast and in writing) castigates traditional instruction focused only on passive rote learning, and offers teachers some great lesson activities – up to and including PBL – to help fix the problem.

Transforming Higher Education through Project-Based Learning
The Chronicle of Higher Education
This article by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, one of the leading PBL-using colleges in the U.S., explains the benefits of PBL (with the studies to back up their claims). They’re hosting a PBL institute for post-secondary educators in June.

Designing for Learning
Modern Learners
Will Richardson makes the case for transforming our education system, asking, “Do we have real empathy for the ways in which our students currently experience school?” Lots of food for thought here for PBL-friendly educators, such as, “Why again would we think that kids trained to succeed at learning in an unnatural environment would be better prepared to succeed at learning in the natural, agency-filled, connected world that we’re sending them out into?”

Count on Project-Based Learning: Strengthening Students' Numeracy Skills Through PBL
Kindergarten Diva
Teacher-blogger Devon Caldwell shares her thoughts on the value of PBL, focusing on how she uses it to build her kinders’ math skills – with links to seven of her projects.

Being a Trailblazer: Part II
Educator on Fire!
Scott Holland-Wilson’s blog has some nice reflections about PBL and helpful ideas for starting on your PBL journey. His enthusiasm is contagious!

 

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