Preparing Students for a Project-Based World


Authored by Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark

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In the paper, Preparing Students for a Project-Based World, released jointly by Getting Smart and Buck Institute for Education (BIE), we explore equity, economic realities, student engagement and instructional and school design in the preparation of all students for college, career and citizenship.

The new economic realities are illustrated by Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar: “My father had one job in his life. I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time.”

Throughout the paper, authors Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark describe how the new economy and growing inequities are impacting students and schools, and what we need to be doing to better prepare students for a project-based world.

Featuring blogs, podcasts and videos with students, teachers and leaders in the United States and internationally, as well as insights from people in the business community, this publication makes the case for high-quality project-based learning (PBL) as a way to optimally prepare students for the project-based world they are inheriting by exploring:

  • The New Economy: Project-based learning prepares students for a competitive, project-based and global economy.
  • Equity: Preparing students for a project-based economy a social justice issue.
  • Myths and Misconceptions: Myths about the implementation of high-quality project-based learning.
  • Recommendations: A project-based economy has implications for students, teachers and leaders. We shine a light on best practices and models to prepare students for college, career and citizenship and illuminate the path forward.

We have also released a quick start guide for students that gives tools and best practices for project-based learning at school and outside of it.

Download Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

Download A Quick Start Guide For Students

This publication is part of “It’s a Project-Based World” series. To learn more and contribute a guest post for the series, see the Project-Based World page. Join in the conversation at #projectbased.


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