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PBL. for the 21 st century. Out-of-School Time Project Based Learning:. Preparing Your Site and Staff Buck Institute for Education Public Health Management Corporation June 2009. Get Ready for Success with Project-Based Learning. Why introduce PBL to your site?.

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for the 21st century

Out of school time project based learning

Out-of-School Time Project Based Learning:

Preparing Your Site and Staff

Buck Institute for Education

Public Health Management Corporation

June 2009


Get Ready for Success with

Project-Based Learning

Why introduce pbl to your site

Why introduce PBL to your site?

  • Builds on what you already do

  • Brings more real-world experiences to your students

  • Prepares youth for life

  • Strengthens communities


Why PBL?


PBL supports youth development

Youth needs

Resilient behaviors/internal assets

Protective factors














Goals and aspirations

Caring relationships

High expectations

Meaningful participation

Improved health, social, academic and culturally appreciative outcomes


Best Practices in Education

  • PBL teaches 21st-century skills

    • Communication; teamwork; self-management; creativity; problem-solving

    • PBL provides active instruction that builds on student interests

    • PBL allows youth to explore more ‘real-world’ topics


Best Practices in

Out-of-School Programs

  • Positive relationships with youth

  • Encourages youth choice

  • Staff interacts with youth

  • Communicates high standards and expectations

  • Builds links to the community

  • Stresses academic assistance, service learning, and enrichment

  • Opportunity to learn in ‘real-world’ context

  • Opportunity for leadership development

  • Career exploration and connections to employers

Projects encourage good habits of mind

Projects encourage good Habits of Mind

  • Persisting

  • Managing Impulsivity

  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy

  • Thinking about Thinking

  • Striving for Accuracy

  • Questioning and Posing Problems

  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision

  • Gathering Data through all Senses

  • Creating, Imagining, Innovating

  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe

  • Taking Responsible Risks

  • Finding Humor

  • Thinking Interdependently

  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning


Through the project experience, students learn useful information, practice skills, and acquire habits of mind


1 –2 life skills


Habits of Mind


Experiencing Project Based Learning…


“projects” versus project-based learning


A video example:

New Brunswick Gender Project


Project Design Principles

Begin with the end in mind

Manage the process

Craft the Driving Question

Map the project

Project assessment

Video m y t o w n

Video: M.Y.T.O.W.N.

Youth-led tours

in Boston—started with a question

(or 2)



Crafting a Driving Question


A driving question is ...

  • Open-ended

  • Authentic

  • Concrete

  • Relevant

  • Requires core knowledge to answer

  • Provocative

  • Requires 21st Century Skills (such as Communication or Collaboration)


Refining a dq: Example from a science class

Can science be used to solve crimes?

Would you trust your guilt or innocence to science?


Refining a dq: A local example

  • Why do children in Philadelphia suffer from asthma?

How can we reduce asthma in our neighborhood?


Refining a dq: A local example

  • Why is lead poisoning found in rowhousing?

Are efforts to reduce lead poisoning in our neighborhood effective?

More driving questions

More Driving Questions

  • How can we nourish our community?

  • How green is our neighborhood?

  • What does waste really cost us?

  • How can we turn empty lots into neighborhood treasures?

  • Which books belong in our library?


Planning a project for your site


Project Examples

Community Mapping Project

My Art, My Voice


Using the Project Planning Form


Projects to consider…

  • Projects that focus on local issues

  • Projects that map community assets

  • Projects that tell an important story about the neighborhood or community


The Refining protocol


Using the Project Rubric


The Project Rubric: What we want students to learn…

  • Project content

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Habits of Mind and Career Preparation

  • Literacy


Managing Projects

Tips for managing the project

Tips for Managing the project…

  • Pay attention to group behaviors—mix up team members on your next project

  • Use task lists and timesheets to help students manage their time and meet deadlines

  • Consider using group contracts so students “sign on” to the project effort

  • Debrief with team leaders

  • Have groups report out to whole

Use the debriefing form at the end of each project

Use the Debriefing Form at the end of each project

  • What did I learn?

  • How interesting was this project?

  • Were the instructions clear?

  • Were the activities well-organized?

  • What skills or habits of mind did I improve?


Preparing your site for PBL


Make your site “PBL- friendly”

Think about…

--‘Facilitation versus instruction’

--Making time in your schedule for PBL

--Adapting sample project plans to fit your context

--Using Web resources (project libraries, Edutopia videos) to learn more

Documenting a project

Documenting a Project

Keep a Project Based Learning Binder with:

  • Project Planning Form

  • Project-specific rubric (for each youth)

  • Task List (for each youth, grades two and up)

  • Debriefing Forms (for each youth, grades two and up)

  • Evidence of culminating project, such as pictures, copies of student work, portfolios, etc.

Create a separate binder for each Project and keep it on site

Protocol for tuning projects

Protocol for tuning projects

  • Present your project to one or two other table groups. Outline your Driving Question, project activities, and products. Other team(s) listen without responding or questioning. (3 minutes)

  • Other team(s) asks clarifying questions. (2 minutes)

  • Team(s) offer warm feedback. (2 minutes). “I Like …”

  • Team(s) offer cool (not cruel) feedback. (2 minutes). “I Wonder if …”

  • Together, teams discussideas for improvement. (2 minutes). “ A Good Next Step Might Be …”


Resources from Buck Institute for Education

Buck Institute for Education resources include:

  • Website: www.bie.org

  • PBL Handbook and Starter Kit series

  • PBL Online: www.pbl-online.org

    BIE is dedicated to improving 21st Century teaching and learning by creating and disseminating knowledge, products, and practices for effective project-based learning

Find more ideas here

Find More Ideas Here

These organizations offer examples of youth projects that offer a high degree of engagement and youth voice:


Promise of Placewww.promiseofplace.org

What Kids Can Dohttp://whatkidscando.org

Youth Venturewww.genv.net


More Web-based resources

  • www.pbl-online.org

  • www.novelapproachpbl.com

  • http://collaboratory.nunet.net/cwebdocs/index.html

  • www.imsa.org

  • www.glef.org

  • www.bie.org

  • … On-line project libraries

  • http://projects.hightechhigh.org/

  • http://www.pbl-online.org/

  • http://pathways.ohiorc.org/

  • http://www.envisionprojects.org/cs/envision/print/docs/750

  • http://www.wested.org/pblnet/exemplary_projects.html

  • http://virtualschoolhouse.visionlink.org/projects.htm

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