The History of Project-Based Learning (PBL)

History of Project based Learning

Project-based education has a long history, although it might seem like a relatively new approach that has become popular only in the last few decades. In this blog we cover the history of Project-Based Learning and share that history visually as we trace the concept of learning by doing back centuries. The Socratic method of…

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5 Tips to Engage with Underperforming Students

Increasing student achievement in traditional academic outcomes such as literacy, numeracy, and content knowledge is vital for post-secondary success. In recent decades, the definition of achievement has expanded to include essential skills like the 4C’s, Career Readiness, Wayfinding, and Social-Emotional Learning.  This expanded definition of student success has been necessitated and accelerated by many factors,…

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Student-led Learning – The What and How

One of my early attempts at student-led learning was through an extracurricular program outside of the core classes I was responsible for teaching. The inspiration was rooted in introspection. I was experiencing more behavior issues in my core classes and, upon reflection, recognized why. I wasn’t involving students in the creation of our learning experience…

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Student engagement in the classroom post-COVID-19

I recently read a blog by The Annie E. Casey Foundation called “Reengaging Students Who Lost Their Way During the Pandemic.” It reminded me of Josh. Josh was a student of mine a few years back, his reputation as a rebellious young man preceded him. Our class was primarily 9th graders and, at 18 years-old,…

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Competency-Based Education: Definition and Examples

Environmental Science for Grades 6-12 Book A Project-Based Approach to Solving the Earth's Most Urgent Problems James Fester

In this blog, we will define Competency-Based Education (CBE) and discuss how the essential components of CBE work together to transform learning in K12 schools and districts. We will also examine some of the specific benefits CBE brings to learners, teachers, and communities. Finally, we will present two CBE classroom scenarios with examples. Defining Competency-Based…

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PBL & CBE Rubrics: What You Need To Know

PBL Rubrics Chart showing how to support deeper learning.

The creation of frameworks for planning, executing, and evaluating learning outcomes is a necessary part of the educational process.  One of the more common ways to set and assess expectations is through the use of a rubric.  Rubrics are tools that help guide learners through a task, skill, or project and assist in assessing their…

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Let the Revolution Begin!

We’re excited to announce that our partner, the Cohasset (MA) Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), was recently awarded a NOAA education grant that will help “build the bridge” between hands-on summertime learning and school-year programs. CSCR engages “Varsity Research” teams of middle and high school students in authentic, community-driven inquiries throughout the watershed, from…

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