Project-Based Learning as a Tool for Career Readiness

Education is the most accessible and equitable way to prepare people with the skills they need for career and life success. 

Career readiness should be a primary focus of any educational institution, and there are many strategies schools can use to ensure students are set up for success. Project-based learning is one promising tool. 

Project-based learning has gained a lot of momentum in recent years as a way to authentically engage students in and develop deeper learning. According to the Buck Institute for Education, project-based learning (PBL) can be defined as when “students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question.” Effective PBL, often described as “the gold standard,” includes attention to several key factors (e.g., sustained inquiry, challenging problem, authenticity) that closely align to many of the competencies that employers describe as in high-demand and represent our goals for career readiness.

As the Educator Networks explores leading schools and promising practices for 21st century learning, we find that while there are many refined and high-quality practices around PBL, there are also schools that struggle to go deeper. How can schools move from exciting projects to an articulated vision of how PBL will lead to career readiness and cross-sector competency development? 

Right now on our website, you can watch a video on the value of project-based learning in developing career-ready students and read about a South Korean school's flipped classroom model. We look forward to sharing more ideas and resources in the coming weeks!  

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