Implementing Project Based Learning in Early Childhood
Overcoming Misconceptions and Reaching Success
This ground-breaking book proves that Project Based Learning (PBL) does work in early childhood classrooms. Most common understandings of PBL in Pre-K through 2nd grade are rife with assumptions, misconceptions, and perceived barriers that have prevented its widespread implementation. Implementing Project Based Learning in Early Childhood breaks down these barriers, offering teachers and leaders at various stages of PBL implementation the tools, resources, instructional strategies, and suggestions needed to dispel the myths and discover the truth.
Full of practical approaches and strategies, chapters encourage you to consider your current practices from new perspectives while "Reflect and Connect" sections provide opportunities to think through your questions, make connections to your current practices, and plan your next steps. Educators will gain a deep understanding of PBL in early childhood and build their confidence to engage all students in high quality Project Based Learning from the beginning of the school year to the end.
Table of Contents
The Stages of Early Childhood Project Based Learning 1. Constructivism in Practice: Creating the Conditions for Project Based Learning in an Early Childhood Classroom 2. Learner-Centered Teaching Practices 3. Project Planning: An Integrated Approach 4. Research Redefined: Sustained Inquiry in Early Childhood PBL 5. Purposeful Literacy in Early Childhood PBL 6. Embedding Social and Emotional Learning into Project Based Learning: Developing Independence and Collaboration 7. Reflection, Feedback, and Revision: Taking an Active Role in the Learning Process 8. Sharing our Learning: Assessment and Public Products in Early Childhood PBL Conclusion: Reaching Success Appendix A: Project Planner Appendix B: Additional Resources
Sara Lev has worked as an early childhood teacher in public, private, and charter school settings since 2005, and is a National Faculty Member for PBLWorks.
Amanda Clark has worked in public education for over 15 years, is currently Assistant Professor of Education at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and is a National Faculty member for PBLWorks.
Erin Starkey has been in education since 2008 serving as a classroom teacher, district instructional coach and technologist, curriculum writer, and National Faculty member for PBLWorks.
"Many people underestimate the ability to do 'real' Project Based Learning (PBL) in an early childhood classroom. They think of it as cutesy or PBL-lite. This book turns that misconception upside down. These early childhood authors are prolific in both their depth of understanding PBL and in their intention of thoughtfully creating a fieldbook guide for their readers to successfully implement PBL in their own classrooms. This book is full of real classroom narrative, examples and practical tools that teachers are going to savor. It's also sophisticated enough to be utilized as a university-level text because of the authors’ efforts to provide readers with common misconceptions as well as the research and pedagogical foundations supporting PBL – something that is often missing in many PBL publications. It's a 'must read' for not only early childhood educators, but also for PBL coaches, elementary principals and curriculum leaders. Even though it is geared toward early childhood educators, teachers across the PK-16 continuum could benefit from its richness."
—Teresa Dempsey, Ph.D., PBLWorks National Faculty, Director of PBLMatters, Fairfield County Educational Service Center, Lancaster, OH
"If you are looking for a book that makes Project Based Learning both reachable and applicable to you and your students, you have found it! Not only is the theory, value and background information behind PBL explained but the reader is also guided with real-life classroom examples and situations. It brings PBL to life!"
—Kari DeJong, Classroom Teacher