Project-Based Learning (PBL)

A Reading List for Project-Based Learning

Explore these project-based learning resources for educators and parents.

March 15, 2010

Suggested Reading:

  • A Culture of Quality: A Reflection on Practice. Ron Berger (1996) Annenberg Institute for School Reform.
    A meditation by veteran teacher Ron Berger (now Director of Instruction for Expeditionary Learning Schools), on the features of an educational community that has conscientiously developed a culture of quality.
  • An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship in Schools. Ron Berger (2003) Heinemann.
    Telling stories from his classrooms, Ron Berger describes how teachers, students and parents can change the culture of schools to a commitment to excellence.
  • Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. John Palfrey and Urs Gasser (2008) Basic Books.
    Described as "a smart, practical guide to a brave new world and its complex inhabitants," Born Digital provides a sociological portrait of the generation raised in the digital world.
  • Expeditionary Learning: Core Practice Benchmarks. This is a free pdf download.
    Expeditionary Learning in practice: what teachers, students, school leaders, families, and other partners do in fully implemented Expeditionary Learning schools.
  • Kurt Hahn's Schools & Legacy: To Discover You Can be More and Do More Than You Believed. Martin Flavin (1996) Cardinal Publishers Group (Middle Atlantic Press).
    A narrative describing the forces in Kurt Hahn's life -- including his arrest and exile by Nazi storm troopers -- that shaped his values and philosophy and led to the founding of Outward Bound.
  • Leadership Lessons from Comprehensive School Reforms. Joseph Murphy and Amanda Datnow, eds. (2002) Corwin.
    A volume of articles discussing the importance of leadership in comprehensive school reform.
  • Outward Bound USA: Crew not Passengers. Joshua L. Miner, et. al. (2002) The Mountaineers Books.
    Describes the roots and philosophy of Outward Bound and its expansion into education.
  • PBL Starter Kit: To-the-Point Advice, Tools and Tip for Your First Project. John Larmer with David Ross and John Mergendoller (2009) Buck Institute for Education.
    A How-To guide from the Buck Institute for Education for planning and managing projects. Contains planning forms, rubrics, handouts, examples of projects and practical advice.
  • Project Based Learning: A Guide to Standards-Focused Project Based Learning for Middle and High School Teachers. Thom Markham with John Larmer and Jason Ravitz (2003) Buck Institute for Education.
    The PBL Handbook provides an overview of the what, why, and how of PBL to guide teachers through all phases of a successful project.
  • Reflections on Design Principles. (1998) Kendall Hunt.
    Brief essays on EL's design principles, with examples of how they are integrated into school culture and teaching practices.
  • Roots: From Outward Bound to Expeditionary Learning (2000) Kendall Hunt.
    An anthology of Expeditionary Learning's roots in the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound.
  • Starting From Scratch: One Classroom Builds its own Curriculum. Steven Levy (1996) Heinemann.
    Award-winning teacher Steven Levy inspires and explains in step-by-step detail how PBL resulted in powerful learning for his fourth grade students.
  • "The Having of Wonderful Ideas" and other Essays on Teaching and Learning. Eleanor Duckworth (1996, 2006 Third Edition) Teachers College Press.
    Eleanor Duckworth's classic essays on how the work of her former teacher and colleague Jean Piaget can be applied to student learning and teaching using her expeditionary learning design principle.
  • Thinking About Our Kids: An Agenda for American Education, by Harold Howe (1993) The Free Press.
    Harold Howe, former U.S. Education Commissioner during Lyndon Johnson's presidency, challenges the leading government-sponsored studies of school reform and recommends a program to improve coordination among all government agencies that deal with children, families, and schools.



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  • Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Classroom Management
  • Curriculum Planning
  • Professional Learning
  • 9-12 High School

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