- Project-Based Learning
- Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation & Impact
- Blair H. Lee, MS – that is a clickable link to author page
- Samantha Matalone Cook, MAT
- Print ISBN 978-1-947473-03-4
- Ebook ISBN 978-1-947473-04-1
- Samantha Matalone Cook, MAT
- Page Count 332
Project-Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation & Impact covers everything from the inspirational why through the practical how-to, including eight pre-designed project examples, and student and teacher workbooks to assist in planning your projects from start to finish. This unique resource is accessible to all educators in every kind of learning environment. Every section of this book has been thoughtfully and thoroughly designed to empower you to begin using project-based learning right away.
Project-Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation and Impact has everything educators in any setting need to get started with project-based learning! This book is written for a wide and inclusive audience. Regardless of whether you are a teacher in a public or private school, an educator at a museum or organization, a parent who home educates, or an administrator seeking to support your staff in changing the perspective and practice of education, we wrote this book for you.
Project-Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation & Impact includes:
325+ pages, divided into 3 sections and an appendix, covering everything you need to use project-based learning with students in every environment.
- Unit 1: The why of project-based learning (PBL), including some educational philosophy and child development. This is an inspirational explanation of why every education should include PBL.
- Unit 2: The how of project-based learning: this is a step-by-step guide for how educators can develop their own projects for PBL.
- Unit 3: 8 projects planned for you varying in length and topic for a variety of age ranges which educators can use with students or as an example to help them plan their own projects. You can use these as planned by us or as starting points to create your own similar project. Alternatively, you can use them as guides when planning your own project.
- Appendix: Student and Educator Workbooks to use when developing a project and during a project.
- What a wonderful resource Samantha and Blair have created! I found the initial chapter to be a clear and compelling argument for project-based learning. Curious people, who want to know more about why they should adopt PBL are going to have all their questions answered right away so they can settle into implementing all the useful, detailed strategies and resources shared.
I also like how they highlight the teacher/guide/mentor role throughout the book. So often the adult in a PBL situation can feel lost because they feel like they aren’t ‘teaching.’ This is a ubiquitous problem amongst first time PBL’ers and this book solves it right away.”
Jade Rivera, Educator, Micro-School Builder, Gifted and 2E Specialist
- “If ever there was a time to rethink how we approach teaching and learning it would be the present moment. Our already outdated pedagogical approach is predominantly one inherited from an industrial model of society. In this model students were prepared to repeat predictable and repetitive actions in an assembly-line-like fashion. Hence, consciously or not, our classrooms and our lesson plans emulated the factory floor. Students were expected to sit in neatly organized rows and columns while memorizing and repeating formulas, facts, and algorithms that had predictable outcomes.
We should no longer be preparing students to meet the demands of the assembly line. The future that we must now prepare students for is anything but predictable. Students must learn how to problem solve and apply their skills into situations and challenges that cannot be anticipated. This precisely what project-based learning prepares students to do. Project-based learning requires students to address compelling challenges by exploring their interests, applying their unique set of skills. Through it, they acquire new skills specific their learning needs and passions. In other words, project-based learning is precisely the antidote needed to replace an antiquated industrial model of education.
Understanding this much, I read Samantha Cook and Blair Lee’s book Project Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation & Impact with great enthusiasm. For the past six years, I have taught at a Design Thinking magnet middle school in San Diego, California. There are many areas where Design Thinking and project-based learning intersect. So, it is correct that Cook and Lee were in a sense preaching to the choir. However, this book will serve the needs of both the newcomer to project-based learning as well as an educator who may already be using this pedagogical approach. What it offers both types of readers is a solid overview describing how PBL is based in child development, neuroscience, and a solid pedagogical philosophy. I finished this part of my reading reinvigorated by the conviction that this is the learning framework that is best for my students.
The second half of the book is just as important as the first since it addresses… how-to use PBL in almost any context. Whenever I am learning for my profession, I am always seeking the takeaways that can be applied to my classroom. This is what a reader may take away from this half of the book. Cook and Lee give educators practical advice and an outline for a PBL unit while addressing common challenges and potential solutions. This half of the book will leave the reader feeling that creating a meaningful PBL learning experience is within the reach of any educator.
‘Project Based Learning: Creating a Modern Education of Curiosity Innovation & Impact’ … deserves a permanent place on my shelf. I will share it with friends and colleagues who are seeking a new teaching approach or seeking inspiration on how or why to use to project-based learning to create a power learning experience for their students. It will surely be part of my summer reading as I prepare for a new school year and a reference I will return to throughout my career. “
David Ruiz, Teacher at Vista Innovation & Design Academy, VUSD
- As someone that works with people from all different socioeconomic classes in a variety of different fields, one thing stands out to me the most “if we don’t level the playing field in youth education, our planet and related ecosystem may not survive. Our global education system needs to align with global demands, and we can’t discriminate which classes of people get certain education benefits. It’s time for change. Project-based learning allows each youth to shine based on their innate skills. Samantha and Blair have done a great job of defining how education can change the trajectory of how humans evolve. We are looking forward to seeing their methodology come to life in the work we do for global youth education reform.”
Somya R. Munjal, CPA, MBA, MAS; Founder of Youthful Savings and Managing Partner of CPA for the People LLP
- I appreciate that ‘Project-Based Learning’ recognizes that education is about providing the tools and experiences necessary to prepare our learners for the future. It also recognizes that our current future is uncertain and impacted by rapid social, technological, and ecological change that can’t be accurately predicted. While many contemporary educational texts wield these uncertain realities as a kind of fear-based weapon, PBL acknowledges them and then provides educators of all stripes with the confidence and optimism that “whatever the future holds “we can still give our learners what they need today.
Anyone could pick up ‘Project-Based Learning’ and leave with not only the inspiration to put the ideas into practice but also the specific, actionable tools to do so. The reader leaves the book with a step-by-step list for planning considerations, gathering resources, guiding students through the process, presenting work, and evaluating outcomes. Best of all, the authors have thoroughly considered the variety of contexts in which the lessons from the book might find themselves. Whether the reader is a homeschooler teaching a single student, a leader of a small group in a co-op or non-traditional school, a traditional classroom teacher in a public or private institution, or even an administrator of a large collection of classrooms, this book offers practical, meaningful ways to bring project-based learning to their specific educational environment.
One of the first things that struck me while reading this book was the discussion of project-based learning as a means of decolonization. By centering students’ own methods of inquiry and knowledge bases and not having a preconceived ‘right’ answer, project-based learning offers opportunities to break down institutionalized and colonized centers of educational power. This kind of thoughtful consideration of how project-based learning enhances and lives out meaningful teaching philosophy is represented throughout the book. The authors don’t just tell readers the how of enacting project-based learning; they explain the why. You’ll end the book knowing how project-based learning impacts individual learners, classroom power dynamics, teaching approaches, and ultimately conceptions of what learning is and should be.”
Michelle Parrinello-Cason, PhD, Dayla Learning