The Buck Institute for Education, which focuses on professional development and materials to support project-based learning, believes that, as with most complex instructional approaches, there are many conditions that need to be met for schools to embrace project-based learning.

First, says Executive Director John Mergendoller, teachers must fully understand the concepts they are teaching. They also need to know they are not trying to force learning on the students, but instead are encouraging students to approach learning themselves.

Then, there needs to be an accountability system that ensures students are staying on track. "You can't just turn kids loose on the project,"


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