Bronxville News

Teachers Develop Enriching PBL Opportunities for Students
Bronxville, NY

A team of Bronxville School teachers recently participated in an extensive Project-Based Learning training under the guidance of Al Summers from the Buck Institute for Education. As a result of the professional learning workshop, they developed 15 new projects that are tailored to their students’ needs and reflective of the staff members’ talents and interests. 

Project-Based Learning is a complex, student-centered teaching method that encourages students to investigate real-world challenges or problems for an extended period of time to gain knowledge and skills. Throughout the experience, they engage in inquiry about issues that are of importance to both local and global communities. 

“It requires teachers to design a provocative question or challenge that students find to be engaging yet is grounded in the curricular outcomes and learning standards that have been established for the course and grade level,” Professional Development Coordinator Denise Lutter said. “It also calls upon teachers to help identify an authentic audience for student work, manage diverse student projects, monitor growth toward designated learning standards, provide direct instruction without compromising student ownership or creativity, and to ensure that project collaborations are productive.”

As a result of the workshop, one Project-Based Learning project at the middle school will challenge students to research factors that contributed to the demise of an ancient civilization and compare and contrast the root causes with issues facing the world today. Afterwards, they will write a compelling position statement to a government official about changes that are needed to ensure that our current civilization endures.

Meanwhile, a high school geometry project will require students to use their knowledge of mathematical constructs to build accurate 3D architectural models for a new learning space in the building. In a world language classroom, students will author storybooks for use in beginning language courses, and in science classes, students will learn about ionic compounds that were present in the runoff water from the recent flood and develop a new village plan that is related to their findings.

“These enrichments to the curriculum will provide invaluable opportunities for our students to explore and acquire the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise,” Lutter said. 

The Project-Based Learning training – which was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation – will be followed by one-on-one coaching sessions with faculty and administrative coaches.