Project-based learning (PBL) is a trend that’s spreading faster than a wildfire during a drought. Why? Because research on PBL proves that it increases student engagement and achievement, and helps students develop the 21st-century skills they need to succeed in their future careers.

For PBL to reach its full potential, though, educators must learn to step back and be facilitators in the classroom, a change that requires thoughtful and ongoing professional development. Here, three educators offer their insights on what it takes to roll out and support a successful PBL implementation.

Give Teachers Autonomy, Flexibility

Art Fessler, superintendent, Community Consolidated School...

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  • About the Author:

    Art Fessler is the Superintendent at Community Consolidated School District 59 in the Chicago suburbs. Follow Art on Twitter @afess7.

    Teri Fleming is the 6-12 STEM Curriculum and Professional Development Director in Stoughton Public Schools in Stoughton, MA. Contact Teri at

    Jordan Menning is a Science Consultant for the Northwest AEA located in Northwest Iowa. Reach Jordan at or on Twitter @JordanMenning.