Project Based LearningPBL
Are your students building knowledge and skills for the modern world through deeper learning?
Available Online or On-Site
Professional development (PD) for teachers, school, and district leaders is an essential component of effective Project Based Learning (PBL) implementation. TeachThought PD helps educators understand the principles and best practices of PBL and provides them with the tools and resources they need to design and implement high-quality PBL projects in their classrooms.
To help educators effectively integrate PBL in their classrooms, we offer a range of Professional Development (PD) options for teachers and school and district leaders. Whether you’re a teacher looking to design and plan quality PBL projects, a school leader looking to support PBL implementation, or a district leader looking to measure and grow the impact of PBL, our PD courses are tailored to meet your specific needs and can be delivered on-site or online.
PBL Workshops - Foundations of PBL On-Site or Online
3 Day Workshop
Teachers learn how to design and plan quality PBL, build in meaningful assessments, and employ strategies for management of the process. Participants will engage in increasing levels of peer critique throughout the workshop.
Deliverable: The creation of a project for classroom implementation. Online schedule may be personalized for delivery to meet your needs.
2 Day Workshop
Teachers learn how to design and plan quality PBL and build in meaningful assessment practices. Participants will engage in increasing levels of peer critique throughout the workshop.
Deliverable: creation of a project for classroom implementation. Online schedule may be personalized for delivery to meet your needs.
1 Day Workshop
Learn the basics of PBL and how it can help you and your school move students from consumers to creators to contributors.
Deliverable: This workshop usually allows for project ideation and sets participants up for project development as next steps. Online schedule may be personalized for delivery to meet your needs.
Meaningful PBL focuses inquiry on content and effectively cultivates Social and Emotional Learning skills simultaneously. During this workshop educators will create their own PBL project integrated with SEL competencies by experiencing the PBL process as learners and leaders of learning. Teachers from all levels and content areas will partake in a PBL experience with protocols and structures instantly transferable to any classroom. This comprehensive workshop cognitively and experientially engages and supports teachers to confidently transition to SEL infused PBL, inspiring students to change their world.
Deliverable: The creation of a project for classroom implementation with specific SEL strategies embedded. Online schedule may be personalized for delivery to meet your needs.
This can be a great option for small schools or groups with limited budgets. Our PBL On Demand Videos are meant to help you build foundational knowledge and understanding on your schedule with the option to build on that learning with followup coaching conversations!
Presented by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD, architect of the TeachThought PBL Model, and Foundations of PBL Workshop designer and facilitator. Each of the three parts can be viewed asynchronously with the option for a live/synchronous followup video chat session to explore your questions, reflections, and to deepen your understanding.
Personalize your experience by selecting one, two, or all three parts along with a live coaching conversation or choose the purely asynchronous option. Visit our PBL On Demand page to learn more.
*these options are to be viewed as starting points, contact us for personalized plans to best fit your needs.
Advanced • Leadership & Coaching • Continued Growth & Support Options:
District or School Partnership – Sustainably innovate and transform your school(s) with a multi-year plan that aligns with your Mission/Purpose and Vision and includes expertise from the wide spectrum of TeachThought leadership and facilitators.
Next-level PBL – Already built a PBL foundation? Take your PBL to the next level with more sophisticated project design, assessment and culture.
Internal Sustainability Coaching – develop internal resources to sustain and grow PBL by leveraging internal teacher-leaders and coaches.
Getting High Quality Presentations from Students – Are you ready to ramp up communication in your classroom? This workshop will empower teachers with resources and strategies to foster communication skills and get the most out of student presentations. Teachers will leave with an actionable plan for high quality presentations.
On-Site Support Visits – our PBL Specialists work in partnership with your teachers and leaders to refine and tune projects and PBL understanding, observe teaching and learning and provide feedback, and reflect and revise for future project implementation.
Leader Scheduled Virtual Visits – a great way to reduce travel costs, these sessions allow our PBL Specialists to do much of the same work as on-site visits via Google Hangouts or Skype.
Teacher Scheduled Virtual Office Hours – teachers or leaders can connect with their PBL Specialist/Facilitator to for help as the needs arise instead of having to wait until the next scheduled PD day.
Developing Sustainable PBL
1 Day On-Site Workshop – Engaging with the PBL process, school leaders and stakeholders will design a sustainable PBL implementation plan for their school or district. Using this approach leaders will develop a deeper understanding of the basics of quality PBL and how to align this work around Mission/Purpose and Vision. Recommended as a starting point prior to capacity building Foundations of PBL Workshops for teachers. This workshop is most impactful when including key administrators and teacher-leaders as well as community business and industry partners and even students.
What is Project Based Learning?
Project Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered, deeper learning approach that empowers students to learn and apply important knowledge and develop conceptual understanding while growing their problem-solving inquiry skills. Robust PBL is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn by doing, by engaging in authentic and real-world problem-solving and critical thinking.
Effective PBL projects are designed to be cognitively engaging and open-ended, allowing students to make deep connections in ways that lead to long term and transferable learning. Through PBL, students can develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter, as well as key 21st-century skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
Project-Based Learning Formal Definition
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered and active learning approach that is defined by the following key Levers for Quality PBL as noted in our model:
- Aligned Thinking and Learning: The project is intentionally designed to solicit thinking around desired standards, content, & skills students need to know.
- Rich Inquiry: The project provides multiple opportunities & need for high level questioning by students & teacher.
- Authenticity: The project challenges students to create products for real world purposes & audiences.
- Autonomy: The project provides opportunities for student voice & choice in the process & product.
- Meaningful Assessment: The project guides teaching & learning using purposeful formative and summative assessments.
- Craftsmanship: The project provides opportunities & reason for students to create craftsman-like products.
Professional Development for PBL Implementation: Options for Teachers and School/District Leaders
For teachers: TeachThought PD services include workshops, continued support coaching, and online resources that guide educators on how to design and plan quality PBL projects, build meaningful assessments, and employ strategies to manage the process. Our workshops are designed to help teachers learn PBL by doing PBL which means teachers will create a project for implementation with their students as our facilitator engages them in the PBL process. Our workshops also include increasing levels of peer critique and opportunities to collaborate with peers to develop and refine PBL experiences and understanding. Our workshops are designed and affordably priced for groups of teachers. For individuals and smaller groups we offer our PBL On Demand option where you can learn on your schedule.
For school and district leaders: TeachThought PD offers and advocates for school and district leaders to engage in our Leadership PBL professional learning. Rather than engaging in one-off PD, our Developing Sustainable PBL workshop, coaching, and online resources help school leaders think through and plan for the steps to support and sustain PBL implementation at the school and district levels. These programs may include strategies for creating a culture of PBL, setting goals short and long-term goals and plans, building the internal capacity of instructional leaders to implement and support PBL, and measuring the impact of PBL on student learning.
PD programs can be delivered in various formats, including face-to-face workshops and support, online workshops and support, and blended learning experiences. In addition, PD programs can be personalized to meet the specific needs of teachers, school, and district leaders in terms of logistics, schedules, and content.
Project-Based Learning Examples
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a flexible teaching method that can be applied to various subjects and grade levels. Here are a few examples of how PBL might be used in different classroom settings:
- In a high school science class, students might work on a project to design and build a water quality testing protocol and event to help their community test their water. The project would involve researching the chemistry of water quality, how to design an effective test, and how to set up and carry out an event that met the needs of their local community.
- In a middle school social studies class, students might work on a project to create a virtual tour of a historical city for area residents and potential tourists. The project would involve researching the history of the city, learning about the different time periods and cultures that have influenced it, and creating a virtual tour that met the needs of their audience using a variety of digital tools.
- In an elementary school, students might work on a project to reduce food waste in their cafeteria. The project might involve learning about the stages and process of getting food from the farm to the table, the concepts of reduce, reuse, and recycle, and developing solutions to limit food waste. One of the schools we worked with previously had a great example of a project like this.
- In a high school math class, students might work on a project to design and create a video game that teaches math concepts for use by an elementary tutoring company. The project would involve researching video game design, learning math concepts and how to apply them to game design, and creating a functioning video game using programming languages.
- In an art class, students might work on a project to design and create a public art installation that illustrates the questioning of societal interpretations of race and the practice of racialization. The project would involve researching the concepts and effects of race and racism, different types of public art, learning about the design process and materials, and collaborating to create an art installation that will be displayed in a public space.
These are just a few examples of how PBL can be used in different classrooms. The key is to create projects that are challenging, open-ended, relevant to the student’s lives and interests, and that provide opportunities for teachers to teach important knowledge and skills that prepare students for the modern world.
I really enjoyed this workshop as a 3rd year teacher because it opened my horizon on new things to do in the classroom. John also demonstrated most of the things he talked about which made it even better to remember.
-Ebonie Thomas, middle school teacher
I have already reached out to our district coordinator and requested more workshops from TeachThought PD.
-Elizabeth MacQuigg, middle school teacher
You will leave this workshop overflowing with ideas, technologies, and strategies that you can implement in your classroom on Monday morning!
-Thomas, HS teacher
Thank you for changing the way I teach!
-Jana McCarthy, elementary teacher
Thank you so much for giving us (the teachers) the tools to make real education happen! Finally!
-Amy Guier, middle school english teacher
This is a must-attend workshop. It really changed my perspective on what exactly I should be teaching through my content.
-Philip Ellis, high school science teacher
We were constantly engaged in group activities and discussion/dialogue. Excellent trainer with a lot of knowledge and understanding about PBL, it took me out of my comfort zone!
-Shafaq Imran, teacher
Thank you very much. I have a new "light" on how to get my students to think on their own and at a deeper level.
-Morgan Payton, middle school ELA teacher
The content is excellent and the presenter was highly effective.
-Jim Whitaker, high school social studies teacher
This is effective and worthwhile professional development.
-Emilie Clemmens, math teacher and curriculum coordinator
I enjoyed the workshop. I am able to use what I learned in my classroom!
-Tonya Jones, elementary teacher
Well designed learning presentations and activities...wonderful enriching learning activity.
-Marlene Burek, Manager of Special Education
Fantastic job facilitating a super helpful workshop. I hope to have an opportunity to attend a TeachThought PD again soon!
-Leann Turner, agriculture sciences teacher
Excellent training, built confidence in teachers to further become facilitators of student learning!
-Ron Lockhart, high school math teacher
I found this to be more informative and useful than any other PD I've participated in.
-Deborah Shirley, Elementary Teacher
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