Many educators in our network have implemented project-based learning in their schools and classrooms. Below, several of these educators share how PBL can help students develop a deeper understanding of the skills valued by employers, a sense of ownership and purpose, and exposure to new career paths and local opportunities.
Sarah Fiess, New York Alumni Fellow: “PBL at Tech Valley High School in New York allows students to engage in authentic interactions with business partners from our local community. Not only are they exposed to a plethora of career options by these real-world exchanges, in their presentations students hone and demonstrate the skills needed to succeed in those jobs! These outcomes are reinforced by school culture and practices - our students receive explicit instruction, assessment, and report card grades on 21st Century Career Readiness goals including communication, collaboration, self-direction, and technology literacy.”
James Chamberlin, Colorado Fellow: “This school year staff have empowered students to take ownership in projects ranging from how to reduce school-wide food waste, improve genetic linked disease research and education, improve local sustainable and obtainable housing, improving zoo habitats for certain animals, improve efficient ways to heat mountain homes, effective ways to cool water, and improving safe routes to schools. The unintended impact of this work has been the ability for teachers to collaborate across the district and the amazing innovative thinking and problem solving our students have succeeded in with relevant and real-life issues.”
Katherine Newburgh, Colorado Fellow: “All of the teachers I've worked with say they can't believe how engaged their students became in the PBL learning process. Students who hadn't shown interest in school lit up when they had the opportunity to work with real-world issues. It's like the kids already know all about this way of learning and are just waiting for the adults in their life to get with it!”