Unpacking acceleration

August 5, 2014

I was recently asked a question that left me feeling restless: Does PBL  guarantee acceleration for students from historically underperforming groups? As somebody with deep roots in PBL it was hard to not have an answer to this question-I tend to feel like I have to combat every critique with a thoughtful response because I believe so deeply in the power of PBL as a mechanism for deeper learning. In truth, the question caught me off guard. So I set off to find an answer to this question-I scoured through websites, dug through relevant data, talked to knowledgable colleagues, and investigated related literature. There wasn’t a tidy answer and I was left unsatisfied. And then it hit me…

Perhaps the question was the problem. When we unpack the question, what stories and assumptions lie beneath it?

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