High Quality Project Based Learning: A Renewed Emphasis on the Student

This newsletter is ushering in another new feature of our Learning Personalized newsletter — video interviews. As Bena and I expand our social network, we continue to come across thought partners, school leaders, and authors who impact our thinking about personalizing learning with habits of mind.

What do you think of the idea? Please send along feedback as well as suggesting who you might like to be interviewed in the future.

We are thrilled to interview Bob Lenz and Brandon Wiley as they are launching High Quality PBL Framework. There have been more and more schools that are “doing” Project Based Learning but not necessarily in the way the originators intended. Bob Lenz and Brandon Wiley from the Buck Institute led a global wide team to refocus on why PBL is so important in the first place — focus on putting students at the center to grow their ability to define a problem, develop an approach to deepen understanding, offer solution, and generate action.

Watch the interview:

Bena Kallick and I also elaborated on the synergy between personalized learning and habits of mind. You can read our blog post here.

One such school division who is taking action is Loudon County, Virginia where they view project based learning as their instructional pedagogy to achieve desired student outcomes. You can read more about this in an article by Dennis Pierce in T.H.E. Journal entitled “PBL with a Purpose.”

Let’s move from the systems-level to the classroom-level. Fourth grade teacher Charles Laurent writes about his classroom experience with Project Based Learning in his blog post in Edutopia. Here is an excerpt:

I couldn’t be prouder or feel more satisfied as an educator. I trusted my learners to own their learning and recognize its relevance, and the number of skills and concepts they acquired during this three-month project went well beyond what would normally be covered in a more traditional classroom model… As one of my children shared during her reflection on the work, “We did a ton of work, we learned a lot, and we made a difference. Not many kids can say that.” Hopefully more kids will be able to say that in the years ahead.

To read the full post, click here to visit Edutopia.

Finally, regular blogger and friend on Learning Personalized Craig Gastauer crafts an authentic challenge and plays that out through the lens of the seven elements of personalized learning. If you want to take a test drive with this project, please let us know how it goes!

Thank you for continuing to read and share! I’m looking forward to your insights!

Allison Zmuda
Educational Consultant and Founder of Learning Personalized

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