From the Buck Institute of Education (BIE)


Students learn deeply, think critically and strive for excellence.

To what extent do students

  • investigate challenging problems, questions, and issues over an extended period of time?

  • focus on concepts, knowledge, and skills central to subject areas and intellectual disciplines?

  • experience research-based instruction and support as needed for learning and project success?


Students work on projects that are meaningful and relevant to their culture, their lives, and their future.

To what extent do students

  • engage in work that connects to the world beyond school and to their personal interests and concerns?

  • use the tools, techniques, and/or digital technologies employed in the world beyond school?

  • make choices regarding project topics, activities and/or products?


Students work is publicly displayed, discussed, and critiqued.

To what extent do students

  • exhibit their work and describe their learning to peers and people beyond the classroom?

  • receive feedback and engage in dialogue with their audiences?


Students collaborate with other students in person or online and/or receive guidance from adult mentors and experts.

To what extent do students

  • work in teams to complete tasks?

  • learn to become effective team members and leaders?

  • learn how to work with adult mentors, experts, community members, businesses and organisations?


Students use a project management process that enables them to proceed effectively from project initiation to completion

To what extent do students

  • manage themselves and their teams efficiently and effectively throughout a multistep project?

  • learn to use project management processes, tools and strategies?

  • use the perspectives and processes of design thinking, as appropriate?


Students reflect on their work and their learning throughout the project.

To what extent do students

  • learn to assess and suggest improvements in their own and other students' work?

  • reflect on, write about and/or discuss the academic content, concepts, and success skills they are learning?

  • use reflection as a tool to increase their own personal agency?



From the Buck Institute of Education (BIE)



The right culture

  • builds students' independence

  • fosters collaboration

  • encourages a growth mindset

  • supports risk taking, encourages high-quality work

  • builds inclusiveness and equity

Culture is the fuel for student voice and choice, sustained inquiry and persistence. Positive culture doesn't get built with a one-day team builder. It's an ongoing effort to create an inclusive community of learners.​

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