All posts by Thom Markham

Why a 21st Century Teacher Isn’t Just a ‘Guide on the Side’

Why a 21st Century Teacher Isn’t Just a ‘Guide on the Side’

The great fiction that a teacher today has become a ‘guide on the side’ is now hardwired into nearly every conversation about the future of teaching and learning. Teachers don’t deliver information any longer; they act as co-constructivists and facilitators, sitting shoulder to shoulder with students. Why raise objections to this new narrative? First, it’s … Continue reading Why a 21st Century Teacher Isn’t Just a ‘Guide on the Side’

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Reinventing PBL to Focus on Human Performance

Reinventing PBL to Focus on Human Performance

Watching fourth graders working in a team on a creative PBL science project (Their problem to solve: Educate parents and community about how common devices like TV’s and phones rely on wave technology.) reminded me that great project based learning aims to produce brightness. That’s a non-evidence-based term unrelated to the repetitive mantra of more … Continue reading Reinventing PBL to Focus on Human Performance

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Why Teachers Need to Become Radicals

Why Teachers Need to Become Radicals

I’ll start with two stories that tell us what we need to know about the future of education. First, Greta Thunberg, climate activist, potential Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and 16-year-old Swedish student, went viral with these words: “What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter anymore, politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, … Continue reading Why Teachers Need to Become Radicals

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From PBL to PBD: Next Steps for Project Based Learning

From PBL to PBD: Next Steps for Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) has reached escape velocity. The small movement that began in the U.S. twenty years ago is rapidly becoming the teaching method of choice (and the hot topic of discussion) in virtually every country. There is a simple reason for the ascendance: In an information-driven world that values an individual’s ability to … Continue reading From PBL to PBD: Next Steps for Project Based Learning

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In Our Connected World, What If Empathy is Learning?

In Our Connected World, What If Empathy is Learning?

Observing a group of students conversing deeply as a team, checking resources on a Chromebook, presenting solutions to a problem in a project, or responding to open ended questions, you might ask yourself: What the heck is going on? Is this learning? In times past, this was an easy question to answer. Traditional, recognizable elements … Continue reading In Our Connected World, What If Empathy is Learning?

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The PBL Global Mission: Higher, Deeper, and More Meaningful PBL

The PBL Global Mission: Higher, Deeper, and More Meaningful PBL

In very personal terms, I would like to describe why I started life as a PBL pioneer and founded PBL Global, a very small company focused on a very large task: To offer to teachers in every country an inspired vision and a set of concrete tools for awakening the 1.3 billion children on the … Continue reading The PBL Global Mission: Higher, Deeper, and More Meaningful PBL

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Note to School Leaders: Three Trends that Will Define the PBL Revolution

Note to School Leaders: Three Trends that Will Define the PBL Revolution

To paraphrase from another source, it can be said that there are two kinds of educators: Those who are behind the curve and those who know they are behind the curve. That’s not a knock on anybody. Society is reinventing itself so quickly that education cannot possibly keep up. For those Superintendents, Principals, and others … Continue reading Note to School Leaders: Three Trends that Will Define the PBL Revolution

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Why Genius is in High Demand—and How PBL Can Deliver

Why Genius is in High Demand—and How PBL Can Deliver

Often the history of words reveal long-forgotten truths by harkening us back to a deep past before experts parsed the world into small bits, built the complex industry called ‘modern day thought,’ and excluded those aspects of human experience that remain beyond the reach of scientific validation or explanation. The history of words reminds us … Continue reading Why Genius is in High Demand—and How PBL Can Deliver

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