Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning: A Proven Approach to Rigorous Classroom Instruction

Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning: A Proven Approach to Rigorous Classroom Instruction

Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning: A Proven Approach to Rigorous Classroom Instruction

Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning: A Proven Approach to Rigorous Classroom Instruction

Synopsis

Project based learning (PBL) is gaining renewed attention with the current focus on college and career readiness and the performance-based emphases of Common Core State Standards, but only high-quality versions can deliver the beneficial outcomes that schools want for their students. It's not enough to just "do projects." Today's projects need to be rigorous, engaging, and in-depth, and they need to have student voice and choice built in. Such projects require careful planning and pedagogical skill. The authors--leaders at the respected Buck Institute for Education--take readers through the step-by-step process of how to create, implement, and assess PBL using a classroom-tested framework. Also included are chapters for school leaders on implementing PBL systemwide and the use of PBL in informal settings.Examples from all grade levels and content areas provide evidence of the powerful effects that PBL can have, including• increased student motivation and preparation for college, careers, and citizenship; • better results on high-stakes tests; • a more satisfying teaching experience; and • new ways for educators to communicate with parents, communities, and the wider world.By successfully implementing PBL, teachers can not only help students meet standards but also greatly improve their instruction and make school a more meaningful place for learning. Both practical and inspirational, this book is an essential guide to creating classrooms and schools where students--and teachers--excel.

Excerpt

Project based learning (PBL) is not a new instructional approach, but it now has a new respectability and an ever-growing number of proponents. The Buck Institute for Education (BIE) has played a central role in PBL’s growth, and for the past 20 years, it has worked to identify and shape PBL best practices. Initially this effort seemed pointless in an era of “covering standards” and test-based accountability. Rigor was defined by recitation and excellence by compliance. But times have changed. Current concerns with college and career readiness, and the performance-based emphases of Common Core State Standards, have caused educators to take another look at project based learning and recognize its ability to not only help students develop deep content understanding, but also to help students learn and practice the skills they will need for college, career, and life success.

A Google search for “project based learning” yields over 3,000,000 results. Newspapers feature back-to-school stories about PBL. Parents and school boards are encouraging their schools to adopt PBL, and many charter schools are making it a centerpiece of their program. An ever-growing number of PBL teachers are connecting online to share ideas and to blog about their experiences. You can find 30,000 of them in the BIE PBL Community on Edmodo (see https://www.edmodo. com/publisher/biepbl). More and more publishers and curriculum providers are producing materials to meet the demand. Organizations such as New Tech Network, Asia Society International Studies . . .

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