PBL PD – The Kindezi School

Through the support of our school, Bob Ryshke and the Center for Teaching, Bo Adams and I connected our learning with the learning and experiences of the adult learners at The Kindezi School.  The conversation and learning on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 centered around PBL (project-based learning, problem-based learning, place-based learning, passion-based learning,…).

Bo posted Kindezi – PBL – CFT yesterday to record our plan as well as our projected learning and experiences.  While all of these teacher-learners have iPads to learn with and use in their daily work, they have Windows-based computers.  We used Keynote to hold and display our resources which has made it difficult to share our resources with the Kindezi teacher-learners.

So here is my version of the morning, learning, and shared resources:

After quick introductions, Bo read a passage from Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.  We read the story of Jerry Sternin from chapter 2, Find the Bright Spots.  You can read the story we chose to read at the blog post Switch, Don’t Solve Problems—Copy Success.  This blog post has an exclusive excerpt from Switch.  While we have experience using PBL with our student-learners, we are not experts in the Kindezi community.  We came to learn as well.

Bo and I facilitated a discussion of current PBL practices at Kindezi where teaching-partners spent 10 minutes preparing a presentation of one successful PBL experience done this year and gathering an artifact to show as evidence.  Bo and I shared two videos of the work and learning happening in Synergy.  See Synergy 8 Update – Week 3 and Synergy 8 Update – Week 3 Part II…Game Plans for our evidence.  The PBL presentations from Kindezi were varied and interesting.  I hope that these teachers will share their practices in a more public venue soon.

To help calibrate our current PBL practices we looked at the following from Linda Darling-Hammond’s book Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding.

Also summarized from Darling-Hammond’s book, we discussed the following expectations of PBL.

Then we learned to seek “i can” infection from Kiran bir Seth

Can we find connections between the curriculum and the current PBL practices of others at Kindezi?  We asked for an attempt to coordinate practices, to add to an existing PBL idea, write about contributions that other classrooms could make to join and support these lessons.

We concluded our time on this day with the following community PBL idea for this community.  We do not expect these teachers to take this as a “do now”.  We hoped to show a path to find a collaborative learning project that the community could build together.  Can we plan a school-wide PBL where every learner can make a contribution?  Is it possible to build a meaningful lesson that where any age learner can learn, grow, complete complex age-appropriate tasks, and contribute to solving a problem in their community?


  1. […] The conversation and learning with the full faculty centered around PBL (project-based learning, problem-based learning, place-based learning, passion-based learning, etc.).  Our mediated conversation plan can be accessed on Bo Adams’ blog post, Kindezi – PBL – CFT.  As with many projects, the plan was tweaked and improved in practice by the learners’ choices and voices.  How the conversation and learning evolved is documented on Jill Gough’s blog post, PBL PD – The Kindezi School. […]


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