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The Buck Institute for Education’s Vision for Project-Based Learning

As a continuation of the discussion about Project Based Learning (PBL), I wanted to share the vision of a leading education group called The Buck Institute for Education (BIE). The Buck Institute for Education is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization committed to expanding the effective use of Project Based Learning.

The BIE’s vision is that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—will have access to high-quality project-based learning (PBL) so they deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career and life.

This vision is driven by a belief that:

1. PBL transforms students by inspiring them to think differently about themselves as learners, collaborators and leaders.

2. PBL prepares students for academic, personal and career success; what’s more, it readies young people to rise to the challenges of their lives and the world they will inherit.

3. PBL leads students to master core academic content and builds critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and self-management skills.

4. PBL advances educational equity and empowers youth furthest from opportunity.

5. PBL enables teachers to make a difference in their students’ lives—academically, socially and emotionally—and to experience the joy of teaching.

The BIE defines PBL as:

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project Design Elements include:

* Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.

* Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.

* Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.

* Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.

* Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.

* Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.

* Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.

* Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

As I read and reflected on this information, I thought to replace the words “student and teacher” with employee and supervisor or work team or work group, or even a family!

Try it! You will most likely realize that these are skills we will use in all aspects of our lives. In Chester County School District, we are committed to teaching these skills to our students so that they will be the employees, employers, work teams and families of the future in Chester County!

Make it a great week!


Example of Project Based Learning taking place at Chester Middle School, Lewisville Elementary and The Learning Center!


High Five to Chester High School for hosting the first annual Girls all About Purpose Conference. The purpose of this conference was to empower girls from the inside-out and for the girls to possess the understanding, wisdom and knowledge to live life on purpose. Thanks to the wonderful speakers Dr. Karen Worthy, Dr. Ja'Pel Sumpter, Allison S. Feaster, Sandi Feaster Worthy, Robyn Brakefield Caldwell, Cierra Smith White, and Julia Maria Hemphill. Awesome Job!

Congratulations to Mrs. Maggie James who was elected by a unanimous vote of her fellow Board members to represent the Chester County School Board of Trustees as a Legislative contact for 2016-2017. Mrs. James will represent our school system in her role with the South Carolina School Boards Association. Mrs. James has served on the Chester County School Board for over 20 years. We are proud to have her representation and her commitment to our children in this capacity.

Students from Chester High, Great Falls High and Lewisville High Schools attended a Business and Student Engagement Luncheon. Mr. Chad Foster spoke about financial advice and how to prepare for the future. Each student then participated in round table discussions with business leaders about people skills, college internships, and managing money. Each student also received a Financial Literacy Book from Mr. Foster! What an exciting day!

Congratulations to the Junior Civitans at Chester High School for earning Honor Club of Distinction. They also earned the award for Largest Per Capita Foundation Contribution. Way to Go!

Don't Forget ...... Next Friday, September 30, 2016 is an early release A day. This means that students will be dismissed after lunch is served!