John Mergendoller: Project Based Learning

john mergendoller on the better leaders better schools podcast
Better Leaders Better Schools guest John Mergnedoller works on special projects for the Buck Institute for Education as the first recipient of the annual Mergendoller Fellowship. He was Executive Director of BIE from 2000 to 2015, guiding its growth and building its reputation for high-quality work. He joined BIE in 1989 as Research Director, and was responsible for conducting research on the impact of BIE’s Project Based Economics Units on student learning.
Before joining BIE, he was a Senior Program Director at the Far West Laboratory (now WestEd), a federally-funded regional educational laboratory. At Far West, he also established and managed the At-Risk Student Program and the Secondary School Improvement Program.

His publications span educational technology, science education, middle grades reform, and Project Based Learning.

John Mergendoller holds an MA and a PhD in Psychology and Education from the University of Michigan, an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a BA in Letters from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship to study cognitive development at the University of Geneva.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to establish priorities in your class / school
  • Critical question = What would embarrass me if students didn’t know it by the end of the year?
  • How to build a culture of Project Based Learning
  • Classroom management is key
  • What gets in the way of student success?
  • How is time used in school?
  • Does the system support your goals?
  • Start small

Resources

Setting the standard for project based learning by John Larmer, John Mergendoller, Suzie Boss.
Why we changed our model of the ‘8 essential elements of PBL’” by John Mergondoller and John Larmer
An ethic of excellence by Ron Berger (mistakenly called A culture of critique – I apologize!)
 
Crucial conversations by Patterson, Granny, McMillan, & Switzler.

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