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Rigorous PBL by Design
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Rigorous PBL by Design
Three Shifts for Developing Confident and Competent Learners

Foreword by John Hattie, Afterword by Suzie Boss



March 2017 | 208 pages | Corwin

Thoughtful Design Guide for Maximum PBL Impact

When problem- and project-based learning (PBL) is designed and delivered effectively, it has the potential to create confident and competent learners. Educators must know how to thoughtfully design projects that move students from surface to deep and transfer learning.

Bridge the gap between expected PBL success and real-life classroom implementation by diving deep into the design for new and existing projects. Through in-depth examples, discover how to make three shifts essential to improving PBL’s overall effect:

  • Clarity: Students should be clear on what they are expected to learn, where they are in the process, and what next steps they need to take to get there
  • Challenge: Help students move from surface to deep and transfer learning
  • Culture: Empower them to use that knowledge to make a difference in their life and the lives of others

Be the key to help students discover, deepen, and apply their learning to a world beyond them.

“This is an outstanding resource for educators, providing a practical framework for creating effective and impactful PBL experiences. We are committed to strengthening our PBL practices and we look forward to adding this valuable resource to our professional reference library.”
Rachel Bergren, MSc, Director, Education and Guest Experience
The Marine Mammal Center


"Michael McDowells book provides powerful insights to ensure the conditions essential for PBL are present for increased impact on student learning. This magnificent book provides educators with practical ways to design authentic and 'ever-lasting' learning."
Sarah Martin, Principal
Stonefields School, New Zealand

 
Foreword by John Hattie
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1. Focusing on Confidence and Competence in Learning
Confident and Competent Students at Work: Sir Francis Drake High School  
Confidence in Learning Attributes  
Competence in Learning Levels: Surface, Deep, and Transfer  
PBL as a Vehicle to Build Confidence and Competence in Learning  
 
Chapter 2. Designing PBL for Student Confidence and Competence
Make PBL Effective  
Advancing PBL by Design  
 
Chapter 3. Design Shift I: Clarity—Understanding Expectations of Learning Upfront
Clear Expectations Motivate Learning  
Where Am I Going in My Learning?  
Steps for Determining Clear Learning Intentions and Success Criteria in Project Design  
 
Chapter 4. Design Shift II: Challenge—Structuring and Sequencing Learning Through Projects
Designing for Challenge and Intervention  
Step 1 (Plan A): Align Student Activities and Teaching Actions According to Surface, Deep, and Transfer Expectations  
Step 2 (Plan B): Structure Inquiry to Identify Student Performance and Provide Support That Aligns With the Learning Needs of Students  
 
Chapter 5. Design Shift III: Culture—Knowing and Acting on Impact Collectively
Developing a Culture of Confidence  
 
Chapter 6. Reflections on PBL Practice
Working Together for Impact  
Retooling PBL to Serve as a Vehicle for Confidence and Competence  
 
Afterword by Suzie Boss
 
Appendices
Appendix A. Project Design Template  
Appendix B. Sample Projects  
Appendix C. PBL Design Shift and Key Elements Checklist  
Appendix D. Recommended Texts for PBL Implementation  
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

"An excellent tool for any educator, administrator, or professional development coach who wants to dive deep into designing an effective and rigorous PBL. This book provides excellent details for the reader and step by step instructions on designing as well as implementing a PBL to enhance student cognition."

Tara Howell, Vice Principal and Educational Leader
Junipero Serra High School, San Diego, CA

"If we believe that ALL students will succeed in school today, it will require all of us to let go some of the things that have been most essential to what we know about teaching and learning (our past practice and experience) and how we have let that define our profession. The level of engagement and connection to the world around them is the driver of learning for students today. PBL represents one of our best strategies to connect those essentials with the desired outcome of success for ALL. Our students need the tangible connection of “learning to life experience” as they have an increased access to the rote knowledge that drove education a generation ago. It is critical that educators further enhance the opportunities and experiences of students by enhancing their professional toolbox. PBL is an essential tool for all educators."

Tom Hierck, Consultant/Author
Hierck Consulting, Gibsons, BC Canada

"This book has the potential to truly improve PBLs impact on student learning."

Tara Taupier, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Tamalpais Union High School District, Larkspur, CA

"I’ve always advocated and often practiced problem-based learning in classrooms, but recently I’ve come up short with seeing the benefits of PBL that I expected. Rigorous PBL provided new direction and justification for why I need to change my practice. I can’t wait for school to start!"

Ernie Rambo, Teacher, 7th Grade U.S History
Walter Johnson Academy of International Studies, Las Vegas, NV

"This book is very thorough in explaining the differences between PBL done more as a project and done with student self-monitoring and transfer of knowledge.  The teacher’s role at each student’s level (surface, deep and transfer) is explained clearly."

Dana B. Leonard, SPED high school teacher
Ledford High School, Thomasville, NC
Key features
 

Going Deeper With PBL Design includes:

  • In-depth examples of how to re-tool existing PBL projects for maximum impact on student learning
  • An appendix of additional examples to help teachers getting started with PBL
  • How to use PBL to address surface, deep, and transfer learning outcomes
  • How to use PBL to increase students' confidence in their learning
  • Questions to help teachers reflect on their lessons and classroom culture
  • Next steps and activity prompts to use in the classroom

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ISBN: 9781506359021

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