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Getting Smart Podcast

Apr 22, 2020

Today, the Getting Smart team is bringing you an episode focused on project-based learning featuring special guest, Jenny Pieratt. Jenny is the founder and President of CraftED Curriculum, an incredible PBL resource that offers educators and administrators a wide range of training and tools to help them achieve the PBL goals they have set for their organizations. Jenny is also the author of the Keeping It Real With PBL series a fantastic resource on PBL!


In this episode, Kelly Niccolls from the Getting Smart team is sitting down with Jenny to discuss all things project-based learning, PBL best practices, lessons learned around PBL, and generally how to support every learner and every educator in PBL! Tune in to learn more about how you can get started on your project-based learning journey or further your learning!


Key Takeaways:

[:10] About today’s episode.

[:30] A note about this episode regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

[:56] Kelly introduces and welcomes Jenny Pieratt to the podcast!

[1:40] Kelly and Jenny reflect on how PBL has changed over the years.

[2:24] Jenny shares why she decided to dedicate her life to PBL.

[5:13] Is PBL difficult?

[5:55] Jenny highlights some of the important key considerations that those in a leadership position that are looking to start or expand their project-based learning should be considering.

[9:06] When Jenny works with schools, is there a specific framework that she uses that helps her collaborate with the leadership and teacher team when they’re new to the whole process?

[11:02] Jenny shares some of the things that are commonly misunderstood or commonly taken for granted when people begin their PBL journey.

[12:20] How does high-quality professional development for PBL school and district communities look different from more traditional professional development? And what are some of the essential elements or structures that need to be in place for it to be good for a PBL setting?

[13:57] What are some of the mindsets and beliefs that teams need to have to be able to really engage in this type of professional development on an ongoing basis? What are some of the key identifiers for what they need to believe and think in order to be successful with this type of professional learning experience?

[15:50] Jessica speaks about the Getting Through resource!

[16:29] Jenny shares some of the perceived barriers that teachers have about kids and how they learn and then explains how she coaches teams through said perceived barriers and obstacles.

[18:12] PBL implementation: is there a best way to do it?

[20:08] How does time operate non-traditionally in PBL? What’s the investment of time that school communities implementing PBL need to be aware of in terms of professional development and student outcomes?

[23:25] Jenny speaks about the books she has written and how she hopes they can provide as a resource for those in the field of PBL.

[28:15] Jenny highlights some of the common “pain and gains” she sees in her work with PBL.

[30:08] Jenny recommends the first three steps she thinks any district leader, teacher, staff, or researcher should take in beginning their journey into PBL.

[33:17] Kelly thanks Jenny for joining the podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jenny Pieratt

CraftED Curriculum

Jennys Book Page on Amazon

High Tech High

@PBLChat on Twitter

#PBLChat on Twitter

New Tech Network


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