PMIEF Grant to NapaLearns Brings Training to Teachers and PM Knowledge to Youth

 

12 June 2016

Kendra Modzelewski

Written by Kendra Modzelewski

Napa schoolboard with text and cut out paper art

One teacher who participated in the teacher training program encouraged her students to use project management in developing their printing and graphics projects celebrating Dia de los Muertos.

NapaLearns, a Project Learning Network member, is committed to engaging Napa County students in school, maximizing their abilities and  preparing them for success after graduation.  Executive Director Peg Maddocks, Ph.D. explained the enthusiasm for project management (PM) curriculum, saying “[Project management] is an incredibly valuable skill to use in your everyday life.  To learn it as a student, you learn how to be a member of a team but you also learn how to be a leader of a team.”  She continued that NapaLearns has a goal: “We want every student to experience real-world, authentic projects.  We believe in giving students real-world language and real-world tools in delivering these projects.  It makes them more credible.”

To support NapaLearns, PMIEF awarded a grant to their organization in 2015 to train California teachers in PM. Specifically, the grant supported integration of the PMIEF’s Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™ into their classrooms.  During the first two years, over twenty teachers completed the training.  Many of the teachers came from backgrounds in professional project management, but needed support in integrating the concepts into their classroom curriculum.   

CTE Educator Lacey Boatman completed the training and served as an Implementation Coach for the trained teachers.  Lacey met with teachers on a monthly basis, highlighting components of the Toolkit for Teachers resource and offering mentorship.  Many of the teachers Lacey coached enjoyed the Toolkit’s warm up activities that are aligned to areas of PM. Incorporating PM principles into core curricula doesn’t have to be hard. “Teachers have found them to be easy to implement,” she shared.

One CTE instructor incorporated her new PM knowledge to her printing and graphics class. In this instance, students were delivering printed products to clients in the local community. This is a great example of PM education and project-based learning at work.  Students began using the PM cycle, vocabulary and concepts to manage project scopes.  For a final project, they delivered projects for the Dia de los Muertos Mexican celebration.   

After her firsthand experience participating in the training and mentoring colleagues, Lacey shared her feelings on the PMIEF Toolkit for Teachers resource, saying, “This is what we’ve been missing in [project-based learning] – this kind of structure.”  To download PMIEF no-cost resources, including the Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™, visit our no-cost Resources Library.