We initially introduced a few middle school teachers to project-based units and provided just-in-time professional development (PD) on those units during their first implementation of the units. After writing and receiving a grant, Project SAAS, we had an opportunity to introduce 30 teachers per year to project-based instruction (PBI) over 2 years. We introduced the teachers to how to implement project-based instruction (PBI) as well as why project-based instruction would be beneficial in their classrooms during a week-long summer workshop. The teachers also experienced one of the units as learners each summer. We continued meeting monthly throughout the school year, continuing our discussions on PBI as well as providing support for teachers designing and implementing their first PBI units. While some teachers found it initially frustrating, we wanted our teachers to understand how and why project-based instruction would be beneficial in their classroom rather than giving them “ten easy steps to PBI” without any background. It is important to note a few of the teachers participating in the grant had also either taken a graduate course on project-based instruction with one of the authors or had participated in some of the earlier unit-specific PD.
- Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. http://www.uwoakville.org/wpv3/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Communities-of-Practice-introduction-document.pdf