New Book Published by ASCD and the Buck Institute for Education Outlines Essential Practices for Teaching Project Based Learning

Novato, California (Sept. 24, 2018) – Project Based Learning is a proven way to prepare students for the demands of college, career, and active citizenship. To help schools shift to a PBL model, ASCD in partnership with the Buck Institute for Education has published the new book “Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences.” It provides teachers with a roadmap for implementing high quality, effective PBL in their classrooms.

The book is authored by Suzie Boss, writer and consultant and a member of the Buck Institute for Education National Faculty, with contributions from John Larmer, editor in chief of the Buck Institute for Education. The book is available at

In the book, Boss and Larmer build on the framework for the Buck Institute’s Gold Standard for Project Based Learning originally presented in “Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning.” The new book explores the seven practices integral to Project Based Teaching:

● Build the Culture

● Design and Plan

● Align to Standards

● Manage Activities

● Assess Student Learning

● Scaffold Student Learning

● Engage and Coach

For each practice, the authors present a wide range of practical strategies and include teachers’ reflections about and suggestions from their classroom experiences. Boss talked with teachers from across the country to gather classroom-tested strategies for high quality PBL. The book, and a related series of free videos, provides a detailed look at what’s happening in PBL classrooms from the perspective of the teacher. The videos are available at

“High quality PBL is the best way to deeply engage students in content and build 21st century skills,” said Boss. “We wanted to showcase what is working in PBL and why, so we went straight to the source by interviewing amazing PBL teachers and observing the work going on in their classrooms. Our book will share best practices to support Gold Standard Project Based Learning. This type of instruction requires a shift for most teachers. It’s not the way most of them experienced school themselves. We wanted to provide examples and strategies to help them make this shift.”

The Buck Institute’s comprehensive, research-based Gold Standard PBL model helps teachers design effective projects. Gold Standard PBL projects are focused on student learning goals and include seven Essential Project Design Elements. The model helps teachers, schools and organizations measure, calibrate and improve their practice.

“Studies show that when students are provided the opportunity to engage in content through a project such as creating something or solving a problem for a real-life situation, they internalize the content in a way that is much more impactful than if they had been given content to memorize,” said Larmer. “We call this ‘sticky learning.’ The lessons stick with them. We hope our book will help even more teachers provide PBL lessons that stick.”

About the Authors

Suzie Boss is an author, educational consultant, and member of the Buck Institute for Education National Faculty. She has authored more than 10 books including “All Together Now: How to Engage Your Stakeholders in Reimagining School” and “Reinventing Project-Based Learning.” Boss is a frequent conference presenter and former community college instructor. She has worked with educators around the globe and developed programs that teach youth and adults how to improve their communities with innovative, sustainable solutions.

John Larmer is editor in chief of the Buck Institute for Education. He is a former teacher who co-founded and restructured a small high school in Pacifica, CA. Larmer wrote and/or edited the Buck Institute’s project-based curriculum units for high school government and economics, authored several books for the Buck Institute, and writes and edits its PBL Blog. He also has consulted on PBL curriculum development and contributes to the Buck Institute’s professional development services and written materials.

About the Buck Institute for Education

At the Buck Institute for Education, we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is to build the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning and the capacity of school and system leaders to set the conditions for teachers to implement great projects with all students. For more information, visit