Blogs on Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning

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Get tips and advice for teaching core subject matter with meaningful activities that examine complex, real-world issues.

Andrew MillerApril 23, 2014

Both project-based learning and STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art and math) are growing rapidly in our schools. Some schools are doing STEAM, some are doing PBL, and some are leveraging the strengths of both to do STEAM PBL. With a push for deeper learning, teaching and assessment of 21st-century skills, both PBL and STEAM help schools target rigorous learning and problem solving. They are not exactly the same, but teachers can easily connect to them to teach not only STEAM content and design challenges, but also authentic learning and public, high-quality work. In fact, many know that STEAM education isn't just the content, but the process of being scientists, mathematicians, engineers, artists and technological entrepreneurs. Here are some ways that PBL and STEAM can complement each other as you deliver instruction.

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Suzie BossApril 9, 2014

With Earth Day 2014 coming up on April 22, many schools are making plans for one-day celebrations that promote a green message. For deeper learning --and longer-term benefits for people and planet alike -- why not use Earth Day as an opportunity to launch more ambitious projects?

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Suzie BossMarch 31, 2014

This is the second of a two-part series about the Global Student Leaders Summit in Shanghai that brought together several hundred students from the United States and China in March. Developed by EF Educational Tours, the event offers teens an immersive experience in cross-cultural collaboration. Read about the global education themes that emerged at the summit in in my earlier post. Today, some American students offer their reflections about how experiences like this help to prepare them for the challenges ahead.

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Suzie BossMarch 25, 2014

More than 400 high school students from China and the United States gathered in the mega-city of Shanghai this month to tackle issues ranging from human rights to air quality to income inequality. Participating in the Global Student Leaders Summit developed by EF Educational Tours meant collaborating in real time with team members from different life experiences, language and cultural traditions, and world views. "We didn't come here for easy," said a student from Jackson, Mississippi.

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Chris Hare, PMP, CSMMarch 19, 2014

This question -- "Mom, what is project management?" -- was posed to me by one of my sons last year. It's a simple query, but crafting the answer to accommodate a child's lens of my career was a bit more challenging. So here was my response:

"It's the profession of planning, organizing and managing many things, including people and projects, for example."

A follow-up question by my other son within earshot was, naturally, "What's a project?"

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At Sammamish High School, we have been involved in a process of culture change that is impacting not only our students but our teachers as well. By giving our teachers the keys to their own curriculum though extended professional learning opportunities and defining core values of PBL instead of a particular method (see my earlier post), we have given teachers their own authentic learning challenge. As teachers have engaged in this real-life, problem-based task, they've drawn on their leadership skills with their peers to create a learning environment that seeks to engage and lift all kids through rigorous, relevant coursework.

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Suzie BossFebruary 21, 2014

At the end of a project-based learning (PBL) experience, students typically share what they have learned or discovered with an audience. Depending on the project, students might publish their work online, make presentations at a public event, or pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

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Heather CalabroFebruary 20, 2014

There are many, many, many things that are more exciting to a teenager than history class. That's why I wanted to create a lesson plan that would generate interest -- and therefore encourage engagement -- in history among my high school sophomores.

When I begin to plan out a project-­based learning opportunity for my students, I usually follow the same brainstorm path. Of course, this path could be followed by your students as well, in order to give them voice and choice in their curriculum.

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Suzie BossFebruary 7, 2014

International educator Scot Hoffman is a big believer in the power of curiosity to drive learning. After nearly two decades of teaching around the globe, he also realizes that school isn't always so hospitable to inquiring minds. (As Einstein said, "It's a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.") That's why Hoffman has developed The Curiosity Project, a self-directed learning experience that engages students, parents, and teachers as collaborators in inquiry.

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Andrew MillerJanuary 21, 2014

I am of course a huge project-based learning (PBL) nerd and advocate. I am also an advocate for the flipped classroom, yet at the same time I also have my concerns about flipping a classroom. This model still hinges upon great teachers, and engaging curriculum and instruction. So why not combine PBL and the flipped classroom? It can be an excellent match when you consider some of the following tips. Even Salman Khan believes that the flipped classroom can create the space for PBL.

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