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Pedagogical Week

For pedagogical week, Dr. Linda Henke presented a three-day workshop on Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Dr. Linda Henke returned to School of the Nations to help continue our efforts in supporting the Reggio-Emilia inspired work at the Early Childhood campus. She also presented a three-day workshop to Secondary and Elementary teachers on Project-Based Learning (PBL) from July 24 through 26.

Dr. Linda Henke’s workshop introduced PBL in a way that validated much of the work we already are doing here at School of the Nations. She clarified misconceptions and broadened teachers’ repertoire of implementation tools. She provided protocols that guided teachers in enriching discussions and hands-on activities. Among multiple videos, articles, research, books, and personal experience, Dr. Henke shared an abundance of resources to help teachers become more familiar with PBL. Both Secondary and Elementary teachers got a jumpstart on their yearly unit planning by collaborating and reflecting with their grade-level teams and departments on Driving Questions, links to Standards and Benchmarks, Launch Activities, and Rubrics to assess their final projects. Dr. Henke provided one-on-one consulting and recommendations to teachers as they produced a PBL plan that integrated multiple subject areas.

This year’s pedagogical week was extremely relevant for our Secondary and Elementary staff to add to their current teaching practices, and to support our Vision, Mission, and Learning Principles. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Henke again this year when we will present our feedback from this first stage of implementation. Project-Based Learning will enable us to fine-tune those successful projects that already exist at School of the Nations. It will inspire students to invent new projects that will positively impact not only themselves but also the world.

Who is Dr. Linda Henke?

Dr. Linda Henke is an Educational Consultant. She has served as the Executive Director of The Santa Fe Center for Transformational School Leadership for four years. She retired in 2012 as an award-winning superintendent of Maplewood Richmond Heights, in Missouri. Dr. Henke’s academic preparation includes a master’s degree in public relations from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Iowa.

What is Project-Based Learning?

In Project-Based Learning (PBL) students work on an extended project that engages them in addressing a real-world problem or answering a complex question. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a presentation or product, which they make public to people from the community, beyond the classroom. As a result, they develop deep content knowledge as well as 21st-century skills.

Why Project-Based Learning?

Project-Based Learning can be transformative for students. By presenting students with a mix of choice and responsibility, cognitive concepts, and practical activities, within an environment of real-world authenticity, projects engage students in learning that is deep and long-lasting.

Seven reasons to use Project-Based Learning

1. It builds success skills for college, career, and life;

2. It makes school more engaging for students;

3. It improves learning;

4. It connects students and schools with communities and the real world;

5. It provides opportunities for students to use technology;

6. It promotes educational equity;

7. It makes teaching more enjoyable and rewarding.

Reference: Buck Institute for Education. (n.d.). Why project based learning (PBL)? Retrieved from

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