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Ensuring That PBL Is Accessible to All

Edutopia – Frank McKay

“Project-based learning (PBL) continues to gain momentum as a powerful approach to teaching and learning, and for good reason. Research indicates that when implemented well, PBL improves student motivation and achievement, and helps students master skills that are essential for college and career readiness.” (more)

To Build Teamwork, Breakout EDU Challenges Students to Think Out of the Box

Ed Surge – Chrissy Romano-Arrabito

“I was on my way to my new gig as an elementary teacher one morning when I first heard the term “PBL paralysis” on a podcast. Erin Murphy and Ross Cooper, authors of Hacking Project Based Learning, were using the term to describe the hesitance that teachers feel when jumping into Project Based Learning (PBL), a hands-on model which encourages students to learn through doing. Their advice? Start with a small project and go from there. I decided to take their advice, beginning with a simple project for my 3rd graders around designing balloon-powered cars. But what started out as promising quickly went south. Balloons weren’t inflating, cars weren’t making moves. While I observed my students, I realized the main reason they were struggling was that they simply weren’t working together as team. There was no collaboration and there certainly was no effective communication. In some groups, students were downright mean to each other.”(more)

Project-Based Learning Needs More Learning

Education Next – Gisèle Huff

“After almost eighteen years in the field of education, I have become convinced of the need to transform the way our children learn so that they can confront the unknowable challenges of the twenty-first century. I applaud any effort aimed at changing the mindset of those involved in the education system so that they can leave behind the traditional twentieth-century paradigm, which was (and in most places still is) an industrial model. Today’s enthusiasm for project-based learning (PBL) fits into the paradigm-shifting category, helpfully emphasizing that we learn best by doing. As a complete educational philosophy or strategy, however, it falls short on many fronts.”(more)

Why Do So Many Schools Want to Implement Project-Based Learning, But So Few Actually Do?

Ed Surge – Alejo Rivera

“In a world where so much knowledge is a two-second search away, many schools are losing interest in models that promote static learning to know. They’re looking to embrace dynamic models that promote learning to do and learning to be. Project-Based Learning (PBL) allows learners to develop skills by solving meaningful, real-world challenges , i.e. organizing a 5k race to raise money for charity or writing and performing a play on the colonization of Mars. Recently,Finland redesigned its school system to make PBL a core part of national pedagogy. According toSRI International, students in PBL classrooms achieve higher test grades compared to their traditional counterparts. And in the US, schools that do PBL like theNew Tech Network orActon Academy are rapidly expanding.”(more)

Why Project-Based Learning Hasn’t Gone Mainstream (And What We Can Do About It)

ED Surge – Peter Glenn

“Project-Based Learning (PBL) is one of the hottest buzzwords in education, and it’s easy to see why. PBL combines standards-based curriculum with empowering students to solve real world challenges. Through projects, students master skills—critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration—that are hard to teach in traditional classrooms. Some project-based schools even report 20% higher standardized test scores than those with conventional classrooms. As a co-founder of CrowdSchool, a PBL platform, I’ve spent nearly two years talking with teachers, schools, and districts about how to make it easier to teach with PBL. Despite the mounting evidence and excitement for project-based learning, only roughly 1% of US schools are committed to teaching with it.”(more)

Project Lead The Way Grants Aim to Boost STEM Ed in Hawaii

Education News – Jace Harr

“Twelve high schools in Hawaii have been announced as the recipients of a multi-year, $2.2 million grant to improve science, math, engineering, and technology education, as well as college and career readiness. The initiative to improve the state’s innovation economy and workforce was announced in January by Governor David Ige. The state is working in partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and USA Funds. According to the PLTW website, the programs are project-based and focus on giving students a chance to apply their knowledge, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own education…[they] empower students to develop the knowledge and transportable skills they need to thrive in our advancing, high-tech economy…The state of Hawaii is desperately in need of more workers trained in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields…”(more)