How Schools Are Fighting Back Against the Tyranny of Time

Buck Institute SXSW EDU 2019

Ask any teacher what they would like more of, and the answer is usually “time.” Time to teach in ways that engage their students and allow them to go deeper into topics and work that is relevant and meaningful. Time to plan lessons, units, or projects. Time to reflect with colleagues.

The Buck Institute for Education, which recently launched its new brand name PBLWorks, knows all too well the importance of time as it pursues its mission to bring high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL) to all students. Teachers in its workshops often say, “This is how I’ve always wanted to teach!” but when they return to their classrooms, they report that lack of time is a barrier to implementing PBL effectively. A teacher’s typical daily schedule, especially in middle school and high school, is chopped up into short segments of time, and a 50-minute class period is not enough time for students to dig into the tasks required to complete an extended, in-depth project.

PBLWorks Executive Director Bob Lenz will be joining a panel discussion, “Unlocking Time to Fuel Student-Centered Learning” on March 4, 12:30-1:30pm, to explore the power of time as a critical lever for change in K-12 schools.

To learn more about how PBL engages students in deeper learning, visit

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