What is PBL?

The most common question I am asked in my work is “what exactly is PBL?”. I love this beautiful question because there is no one simple answer. In fact, how each educator defines Project-based learning is unique. For this reason, when I begin my work with a new school I always start out our journey by calibrating on our understanding of what High Quality Project-based learning is-so that we all operate from the same definition; Calibration leads to clarity. To see the process I go through helping schools calibrate you can read more HERE.

What PBL isn’t

As part of this calibration process I typically share a few of my favorite resources with teachers that explain what PBL isn’t. I realize it seems funny to start our journey with negative language-but these two resources {video by Jeff Robin and this article from BIE} really help teachers develop a better understanding of what we are striving for in our work ahead. And I also come out the gate dispelling some pretty important misconceptions that I see in my work, two of which I dedicate significant air time to….

1) PBL is not Powerpoints and Trifold boards;

2) the role of the teacher is not passive. I share the following two graphics and we discuss the implications for our work: