Attend fall training sessions in Project-Based Learning…

The Consortium will again offer training in Project-Based Learning (PBL) during the 2018-2019 school year, both for teachers undertaking projects as part of our Student Powered Solutions program as well as others with a general interest. 

The first two-day training begins with a workshop September 27 and concludes with a second session on October 11. Costs are based on levels of participation described in our fee schedule. (Schools that want on-site PBL training for their own groups of educators also can arrange them through Jackie Foor, the Consortium’s Director of Institutional Advancement.)

SPS pairs classrooms with companies or community organizations willing to offer students authentic problems to solve. But the same training we offer for SPS partners can help any educator who wants to begin learning about and introducing PBL.

Educators new to PBL needn’t worry that the process is too involved or that they can’t modify it for their own purposes,

“If teachers just take what they are already doing that is like PBL and build on it they’ll have a good start,” said Sarah Brooks, a Consortium Program Director who helps facilitate SPS projects, among other responsibilities. “It’s a process, it’s not something that’s either going to happen or not.”

Brooks added that teachers need only embrace a few key elements to begin implementing PBL., such as ensuring that students have a “driving question” to guide their work.

Our upcoming training sessions also will help teachers who might be hesitant to try PBL out of concern that it may limit their ability to cover content and skills dictated by state standards.

“We’ll be helping teachers plan backwards, with an eye on embedding state standards into the projects they design,” said Aaron Altemus, a Consortium Program Director who also helps organize SPS projects.

Trainers also will discuss creating rubrics to assess student learning of content dictated by state standards, he said.

Beyond the training session, the Consortium also offers other kinds of support for educators participating in SPS or other PBL projects.

Altemus and Brooks have done significant research and undergone training in PBL methods. This summer, both attended a week-long program offered by the Buck Institute, whose methods many consider the gold-standard for PBL.