A Year in Review: High Quality Project Based Learning


Projects are an easy way to engage students in authentic challenges but delivering all of possible benefits requires well constructed, sustained and supported experiences. Earlier this year, a new Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning (HQPBL) was developed to help teachers better prepare young people for contribution in the innovation economy.

As we look back, it is evident that project-based learning not only increases student engagement, it helps students develop academic and social and emotional skills for life and careers.

Over the year, we visited 8 schools where students are having HQPBL experiences, here is what we discovered:

HQPBL Case Study: Katherine Smith School. Over seven years ago, Aaron Brengard came to serve as principal of Katherine Smith Elementary, a 55-year-old Title I school within San Jose's Evergreen School District. Despite its location in Silicon Valley, the school seemed a world apart from the region recognized globally for entrepreneurship and innovation.

From the very beginning of his tenure, Brengard championed a school redesign that would better prepare students for the real world. The lessons learned from this journey toward High Quality Project Based Learning (HQPBL) remain relevant, as they could potentially be applied to public schools across America (Read Case Study).