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Contributed by: Paco Hanlon, Select Strategies School Coach

Teachers and administrators from all five boroughs, across all grades and subjects, gathered at NYC Outward Bound headquarters in Queens on January 23 to collaboratively learn more about implementing a project-based approach to their curricula. In the morning, the workshop focused on what project-based learning is and how it impacts student achievement and engagement, while the afternoon focused on how projects are designed, and how daily instruction is used to develop the content and skills necessary for students to be successful.

The workshop included a gallery walk of student work from more than 40 high-quality projects, where participants were able to see what can be accomplished in a project-based classroom, and think deeply about the features of a task that invite students to do complex, authentic work.

Participants remarked that the gallery walk really pushed them to think about different possibilities of PBL in action.

In the afternoon, three of the teachers whose projects were displayed in the gallery walk facilitated deep dives into their project-based units.  They shared calendars, lesson plans, and other planning materials with participants, in order to help them envision what daily lessons look like to support students in creating high-quality work.

Developing a capacity to teach and plan for a project-based classroom is difficult, but having the opportunity to learn first-hand from teachers who are successful with it, and to see how it looks in practice, provides a useful model for aspiring PBL teachers to follow.

It’s great to hear that participants left feeling inspired and full of ideas for how to approach PBL in their classrooms.


For questions about future institutes hosted by NYC Outward Bound Schools, or to find out more about our Select Strategies partnerships, through which we offer direct support to schools in implementing Project-Based Learning, contact Jessica Bardy, Director of Select Strategies, at [email protected] 

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