How Project-Based Learning Builds 21st-Century Skills

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by Suzie Boggs | filed under Project Based Learning |

Back in 2005, West Virginia embarked on a bold effort to reinvent public education. The vision was ambitious, especially for a rural state with a high poverty rate. “We’re not tinkering around the edges here — we are completely transforming every aspect of our system,” then-Superintendent Steven Paine told Edutopia in the early years of the initiative. To make change happen, the state Department of Education enlisted a willing group of partners: West Virginia teachers.

Teachers took part in summer institutes where they learned how to be successful with project-based learning, a strategy for teaching 21st-century skills along with important academic content. In the early years of the initiative, the Buck Institute for Education provided in-depth professional development in how to design, manage, and assess PBL. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the BIE National Faculty.)

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Suzie Boss | Journalist and PBL advocate
Suzie is a journalist who writes about the power of teaching and learning to improve lives and transform communities. Coauthor of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, she is inspired by educators who push the boundaries of the traditional classroom.

Suzie is on the National Faculty of the Buck Institute for Education, and has also helped nonprofit organizations design programs that teach both youth and adults how to improve their communities with innovative, sustainable solutions.

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