Provides tools and documents that project managers can use to bring Project Based Learning to school transformation initiatives, with the goal of helping increase workplace competencies for students.

“The Toolkit is intended to bring project management into community conversations about school transformation, by providing tools, definitions and explanations of unfamiliar subjects, and links to other resources that will help project managers, other professionals, and existing stakeholders to better understand their communities, connect to existing dialogues and reform efforts, and navigate the complex world of education. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) - a collaborative partnership among education, business, community and government leaders to position ‘21st Century readiness’ at the center of K-12 education – and the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) – the philanthropic arm of the Project Management Institute that leverages project management for social good – developed each Toolkit document to help community leaders work together to build support for integrating PBL [Project Based Learning] and project management into their local schools” (p.2).

The toolkit, published in 2015,  covers a variety of PBL and project management topics, including the following:

  • Project management skills and project-based learning
  • Sharing the value of project management with educators
  • PBL in action
  • Determining community readiness
  • Community resource mapping
  • Understanding education strategies
  • Project managers in the classroom

It is designed to “equip project managers, other professionals, and other stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to:

• Add their voices to deeper community conversations about education transformation in their communities and what is necessary to successfully prepare young people for the 21st Century world of work,

 • Work with other groups and leaders to build support among the public and educational decision-makers to bring Project-Based Learning, project management, and 21st Century skills into curricula and teacher training,

 • Assist educators to better understand PBL, and

• Provide their important expertise inside and outside of the classroom” (p.2).

The authors posit that PBL is important in classrooms since “students today face a world where a far broader and deeper set of skills are essential for success than…before. Schools must use new kinds of tools to teach a wider set of topics, and even more to impart the competencies, perspectives, and practices that, alongside academic and technical knowledge, are…essential to compete” (p.2).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“Effective learning projects and PBL [Project-Based Learning] curricula should integrate opportunities for learning and practicing project management skills. [The project’s funders define] a well-designed, effective learning project as one that has the following features: • Project outcomes are tied to curriculum and learning goal. • Driving challenges that lead students to the central concepts or principles of the topic or subject area. • Student investigations and research involve inquiry, problem-solving, and knowledge building. • Students are responsible for designing and managing much of their own learning. • Projects are based on authentic, real-world problems and questions that students care about” (p.4). In addition to defining how Project-Based Learning fit with education, the toolkit also provides a variety of documents, including a community resource map, for project managers to use in bringing the concept to the school transformation movement. These documents cover multiple topics, including the following: • “Why…we need to transform education in the [United States]” (p.4). • “Exploring community assets and determining community readiness” (p.6). • “Engaging in community discussions about education” (p.8). • “Engaging with educators” (p.9). Each document is packaged with recommendations for bringing the content to schools, such as guides to facilitating related discussions or instructions for how to start a community conversation. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)