(Re)Investing in PBL Instructional Practices
By Adrienne Rossi-Genova
Across the years, we have picked up and discarded many instructional practices as teachers, for a variety of reasons: growth as an educator, school or level changes, the needs of the students in front of us, schoolwide requirements. Like me, I’m sure there are a multitude of reasons swimming in your mind.
Some of those practices we kept for an equal number of reasons: they fit our belief systems, they met student needs, they continued to be a priority at our school.
Today, I’d like to make a case for an investment or reinvestment in one particular instructional strategy-- Project or Problem-Based Learning (PBL). You may know it by other names, but names aside, they all boil down to these essential components:
PBLWorks (https://www.pblworks.org/why-project-based-learning ) offers reasoning for using PBL in classrooms and schools, ”. . .we need young people who are ready, willing, and able to tackle the challenges of their lives and the world they will inherit. . .” The New Tech Network (https://32dkl02ezpk0qcqvqmlx19lk-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/New-Tech-Network-Overview-2.pdf ) agrees, citing, “”By making learning relevant [through PBL pedagogy], students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and concepts” (2). Both offer insight into the depth and richness of the student learning experience. These ideals directly correlate with The Jeffco Deeper Learning Model, whose focus lies in the authentic and relevant learning teachers in Jeffco provide students (Jeffco).
You and your school may never have learned about PBL. Or you did some initial learning, but didn’t implement. Or you and your school were on a roll but hit the speed bump named COVID. Whatever the case, perhaps it’s time to take another look at the benefits of PBL at your school. I can help with both the investigation and the journey.
If you are interested in learning more, restarting your work with PBL, or want to consider what virtual PBL looks like, you can find me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 2-7537, Ed Center, 2nd Floor, Curriculum & Instruction. Let’s get some good PBLs started together!
Buck Institute for Education. (n.d.). Why PBL? PBLWorks. https://www.pblworks.org/why-project-based-learning
Jeffco Public Schools. (2021). Jeffco deeper learning model. https://teamjeffco.jeffcopublicschools.org/academic_support/jeffco_learning_model
New Tech Network. (2020). The hierarchy of change: Design your way to school change. New Tech Network: Transforming teaching and learning New Tech Network. https://32dkl02ezpk0qcqvqmlx19lk-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/New-Tech-Network-Overview-2.pdf
Curriculum & Instruction