Welcome to our D-E Middle School PBL Site.  This site is designed to teach and assist you with the process of creating Project-Based Learning units for your classes.  This site contains both the framework and key ideas for PBL, as well as a variety of resources that will help you in your PBL endeavors including worksheets, websites, videos, articles, books, project examples, model programs, and inspiring people who are changing the face of eduction through Project Based Learning.

Cross-Curricular PBL Connections

PBL @ Dwight-Englewood Website from June 2016 Workshop with Mike Gwaltney
Padlet - App for Collaboration

What is Project Based Learning?
In Project Based Learning students are presented with a compelling question to explore, an engaging real-world problem to solve, or a design challenge to meet.  Before they can do this, they need to work collaboratively with other students to inquire into the issue raised, learn content and skills, develop an answer or solution, reflect on and revise their ideas, and then present their work to other people.  This process creates a strong desire to know and understand the material, which is the key to increasing students' motivation to learn in PBL.  This process also gives students the foundation and knowledge for creating high-quality products.  PBL gives them a real need to understand, know, and demonstrate what they learn, beyond simply getting a good grade.

Featured Films and Videos:
Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

If You Build It

Essential PBL Websites and Blogs: Click Here

PBL Misconceptions:

PBL is not:  the dessert
PBL is:  the main course

A project is central to the curriculum and drives your instruction; it is not a "fun activity" or "applied learning" you let students do after a traditionally-taught unit. PBL is both a curriculum organizer and an instructional method.

PBL is not:  a string of activities tied together under a theme, concept, time period, culture, geographic area, etc.
PBL is:  a set of learning experiences and tasks that guide students in inquiry toward answering a central question, solving a problem, or meeting a challenge.

For example, an interdisciplinary unit on the Renaissance in which students build a model of a machine based on a Da Vinci drawing, write and present a report on a famous artist, and perform a costumed drama about a historical event is not necessarily PBL.  These activities could be part of a PBL unit if together they help students develop and present an answer to a central question such as "Was the Renaissance just a rebirth, or a whole new baby?"  In this case, the unit was "activity based" but did not require rigorous inquiry into a central question.

PBL is not:  the same as "making something" or hands-on learning" or "doing an activity."
PBL is:  often focused on creating physical artifacts, but not always.  It must involve other intellectually challenging tasks and products focused on research, reading, writing, discussion and oral presentation.

It's not truly PBL if students are simply making a collage about a novel, constructing a model of the pyramids, analyzing water samples from a lake, or measuring and calculating the geometry of buildings.  These artifacts and activities could be part of a rigorous project if they help students meet a complex challenge and develop and present an answer to a central question.