That's the question that John Mergendoller, executive director of the Buck Institute, hears often. His response is a resounding "yes." But measuring project-based learning can be a challenge. If an English teacher and a math teacher both do a project, and one lasts a week while the other lasts a month, those projects will look very different, Mergendoller points out.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that teachers believe project-based learning helps students develop higher-level thinking skills. Students also become more actively engaged in the learning process.

"Because project-based learning focuses on real things, an aspect of life that you can analyze, it's motivating and


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