Project-Based Learning Gets Project Manager Make-Over
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The concept of "project-based learning" is finally getting a foundation built on formal project management principles. The
Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21), a non-profit focused on developing resources to
help schools instill 21st century learning and instructional practices into their operations, is working with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation to make project management materials available to educators. The
foundation is affiliated with a global member organization that certifies project managers.
The foundation gave a $475,000 grant to P21 to fund the development of an online toolkit, titled,
"Bringing Project Management into the School Transformation Conversation." The
idea is to bring project managers into the work of education transformation in their local communities and to help teachers and administrators
better understand and implement project-based learning, project management and related skills in the classroom. The materials include advice
for engaging the community as "stakeholders" in the work,
references to projects that can be used in learning scenarios and links to
programs in schools and districts.
The same skills young people need to succeed in college and work are the ones used in successful projects, said Michael DePrisco, who heads
up academic and educational programs for the Project Management Institute. "Project
management helps them learn how to think creatively, communicate effectively and work collaboratively with their peers. We understand the
value that project-based learning adds to the classroom, but equipping teachers and students with project management skills better ensures that
they know how to expertly manage those projects."
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.