PMIEF Grant Funds Buck Institute for Education to Create Framework for High-Quality Project-Based Learning


29 March 2018

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Written by Michelle Armstrong

Topics Youth

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PMIEF awarded a 2016 grant to the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) for “HQPBL,” an initiative to develop a framework for high-quality project based learning (PBL). The framework is intended to help teachers, students, parents, and education stakeholders understand what constitutes high-quality PBL and if (and to what extent) they are engaged in it. 

BIE’s assemblage of education thought leaders and key influencers over the past two years informed the framework’s development. The organization’s steering and advisory committees for the grant not only helped determine the framework’s content, but also reviewed and offered constructive feedback on multiple iterations of it prior to its release. Representatives from several PMIEF grantees, including Asia Society, Junior Achievement USA, and Partnership for 21st Century Learning, served on the committees in addition to those from organizations such as the Finnish National Agency for Education, George Lucas Education Foundation, Korea Development Institute, and Stanford.  

BIE released the final framework at the 2018 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, USA in March 2018. A premier event held annually in the city, SXSW is described as “an essential destination for global professionals [that] features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities [that] proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.” 
The framework is available for download on the HQPBL website. It includes project management among the six criteria for high-quality PBL because it builds students’ competencies in managing themselves and their teams while using the necessary processes, tools, and strategies to execute project work. The website also includes a stories section with videos and case studies that profile exemplary PBL instruction. 

In addition, Getting Smart, BIE’s strategic partner for the grant, penned an article that specifically points out project management as one of the four primary reasons why PBL is critical to the student experience. Several op-eds about this PMIEF-funded initiative have also appeared in Education Week:

Op-ed #1
Op-ed #2
Op-ed #3
Op-ed #4

HQPBL has already generated tremendous momentum as the website’s counter shows more than 325 schools, over 70 partners, and nearly 1,600 “sign-ups” committed to this initiative.

Update as of 25 June 2018: The HQPBL framework is now available for download in Spanish.