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.
Agency and High Quality PBL
Marie Bjerede, president of Agentic Learning, explains how the new Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning provides the basis for increasing students’ sense of agency, which is vital in today’s “gig economy.”
They Were Trained for This Moment: How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education
This article offers a strong defense of public high schools, and while it does not mention PBL, imagine how even more powerful students would be if it were included in a school’s program. The Parkland students’ school does feature robust speech & debate, drama, and journalism programs. (See also my post about School Shootings, PBL & the Size of High Schools.)
Inspiring Students to Take Action through Service Learning
This post describes a partnership with National Geographic to create four micro-credentials to “help educators build the skills they need to design and implement service-learning projects.”
Venture capitalist visits 200 schools in 50 states and says DeVos is wrong: ‘If choice and competition improve schools, I found no sign of it.’
The Washington Post
Ted Dintersmith, who you may know as the producer of the film Most Likely to Succeed, “thinks the U.S. education system needs to be reimagined into cross-disciplinary programs that allow kids the freedom to develop core competencies through project-based learning.”
Building Community with Restorative Circles
Here’s a helpful post about building community in the classroom (which is one of our Project Based Teaching Practices) with “seven steps for facilitating meaningful circles.”
Project-based learning program helping student teachers
A local news report from Bismarck, North Dakota (whose school district was last year’s PBL Champion district at PBL World) about a project BIE is spearheading, to train student teachers in PBL at several colleges around the U.S., including North Dakota’s University of Mary and Dickinson State University. (Nice quotes from Meg Parry of BIE!)
The Power of Visiting Schools – How to Plan Your Next Visit
This is a very helpful guide from the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) to seeing deeper learning in action at schools that use PBL and other innovations.
Junior Historians at Work
A fourth-grade teacher describes a PBL unit that “incorporates social studies, literacy, math, and 21st-century skills.” The driving question: “How can we, as junior historians, raise public awareness and appreciation for Smith’s Castle?”— a historic landmark and museum in Rhode Island.
How a Colorado school district turned things around at 10,000 feet above sea level
An inspiring story of how a low-performing school’s district, which has seen a growing number of Latino students, did not take the “fire the teachers” approach. Instead they successfully adopted EL Education’s whole-school model, which uses PBL extensively.
Students share big ideas about tiny homes
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Fifth- and sixth-graders at Torrey Hills School in San Diego, CA were challenged to find housing options for the homeless, veterans, and the elderly in a project that involved local experts, a homeless man, and nonprofit organizations.