Season 4: Episode 8 – Project-Based Learning with Thom Markham [Podcast]

In this episode, we are speaking with Thom Markham about project-based learning, something Them knows a little about! You may recall we spoke with Thom in last season’s Episode 15 about his recent book, Redefining Smart: Awakening Students Power to Reimagine Their World. Today we’ll be chatting about project-based learning, something Thom knows a little about!

Thom is a psychologist, author, speaker, educator, thought leader and internationally recognized consultant to schools and districts focused on project-based inquiry, 21st century skills, innovation, school redesign, and student empowerment. As founder and CEO of PBL Global, he has worked with hundreds of schools and districts, and conducted workshops for thousands of teachers across five continents, providing proven methods and resources for designing high-quality, challenging, and authentic projects. In addition to numerous articles, Thom’s publications include Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert Tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K-12 Educators.

Here is what we talked about:

  1. PBL is one of those popular acronyms right now in education, but we all know it has a lot of potential value for those who want to reimagine learning in the classroom. Clarify for us the important distinctions between traditional “projects” and project-based learning.
  2. For PBL to be most successful, we need a PBL friendly classroom culture. What should teachers be thinking about when creating a positive learner-friendly culture in the classroom?
  3. Designing a powerful project. Our listeners are probably on a broad continuum of experiences with PBL, but paint a picture of the key stages in designing a powerful project.
  4. When we talk about redesigning learning in the classroom, this requires teachers to shift roles. What does the role of the teacher look like during a PBL project?
  5. As leaders, we frequently ask the “why” question about initiatives, resources and any kind of change, such as a shift to PBL. What is the “why” behind PBL, thinking particularly of preparing learners for a world that is changing so rapidly?
  6. We know that you have a particular passion for social/emotional learning. Talk to us about the intersection of PBL and SEL. How can one reinforce the other?
  7. What’s next for Thom? What are your working on?

Join in the conversation!

Each episode we leave you with a question or two to think about with the idea of provoking conversation.

This episode’s questions:

  1. What would you identify as the strengths of your learning culture supportive of PBL?
  2. What is your next step to move you closer to powerful PBL opportunities in your school or district?

You can join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by using the hashtag #TLTalkRadio on Twitter.

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