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by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

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January 20, 2017
Top 8 PBL News Stories

by John Larmer
Editor in Chief

Jan. 16-20, 2017


Each Friday we post a list of articles, blog posts, and other resources we’ve run across that relate to Project Based Learning.

Here’s what we liked this week:

Unlocking Learning: Science as a Lever for English Learner Equity
This paper by The Education Trust-West confirms what we’ve said about PBL: active, collaborative inquiry is good for ELL students. Researchers studied the use of hands-on inquiry-based science, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, in several California school districts with large ELL populations—and found big gains in achievement.

Shared Leadership for Deeper Learning
Education Week
In this Getting Smart podcast, Tom Vander Ark talks with David Rattray, president of Unite LA and executive vice president of education and workforce development at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce about “workforce readiness, the need for continued lifelong learning and how schools must adapt to prepare young people for a new economy and a changing world.”

Students at the Center: Personalized Learning with Habits of Mind
Authors Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda have created a great model for personalized learning that shares many aspects of PBL: student voice, co-creation, social construction (of ideas, goals, products and performances), and self-discovery.

Why Math Education in the U.S. Doesn’t Add Up
Scientific American
Researchers Jo Boaler (who has also studied PBL and found positive effects) and Pable Zoido look at the recent PISA test results and conclude that students who are “memorizers” are the lowest achievers in math, and the U.S. has a lot more of those students than many other countries because of how it is taught. They say, “research shows how kids learn math best: as an open, conceptual, inquiry-based subject.”

What Could $4 Billion Do for American Education?
This article by NewSchools Venture Fund describes their new report, Reimagining Learning: A Big Bet on the Future of American Education. It outlines five “Attributes of Innovative Schools” which include projects, collaborative relationships, and “an expanded definition of student success” that goes beyond traditional academics.

Successful Education Requires a Stronger Student Voice
District Administration
This article features education change advocate Russell Quaglia, whose Student Voice Survey reveals a disconnect between educators stuck in the past and today’s students. Instead of teaching “information in school that (they) can look up on an iPhone in about 20 seconds,” Quaglia says students need educators to provide environments focused on “getting them excited or making connections with that information and their lives in the future.”

Creating a New World Through Global Education
ASCD Express
Teacher Erin Dowd describes the powerful results of a project her 3rd graders did that culminated in a “Global Summit” where they presented their fictitious countries, explained its government, and decided how to govern their planet. (Reminds me of a high school PBL unit I wrote, “A Government for Xlandia”.)

What's Hot: 9 Major Ed Tech Trends for 2017
T.H.E. Journal
Along with trends such as STEAM education, maker spaces, coding, and augmented reality is “active learning”— described here by my former BIE colleague David Ross as a “rebranding” of PBL.


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