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Reframing Project- and Problem-Based Learning

In each episode of the Inside Our MIND podcast, we take a look at issues and challenges facing education that we are working to address through research, technology and strategic initiatives.

In our latest episode, Brian welcomes MIND’s Lead Mathematician Brandon Smith back to the show, for a discussion on project-based and problem-based learning. Brandon talks about the similarities and differences between the two, as well as some common misconceptions about them.

He also provides guidance on how to get the most out of project and problem-based learning by increasing student choice, creatively reframing problems, and adding more fun to the process.

If you want to build creative capacity, you want to develop a student's desire to take risks, and to fail quickly and to iterate, and then to actually get to a point where they really complete the problem, or solve it.

-Brandon Smith, MIND Research Institute

You can listen to the episode in the player below:

Topics Covered in the Podcast:


0:45 Intro
3:15 Problem-based and project-based defined
5:00 Creativity as an action
7:30 Challenges in current PBL approaches
10:00 Tackling solvable problems
15:00 Testing and Iterating
17:45 Encouraging risk-taking

Thanks for listening to the podcast! Please leave us a review on iTunes, Google Play, Spreaker, or wherever you are listening to the show. Subscribe to get future episodes as soon as they are released! You can also download a transcript of this episode here.

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Additional Resources:


Podcast: The Creative Engine and Intentional Iteration
K-12 Game-a-thon Top Teams 2019
Three I’s to Mathematize Anything

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Brian LeTendre

About the Author

Brian LeTendre is the Director of Content and Communications at MIND Research Institute. In addition to orchestrating content for MIND, he is an author, podcaster and avid gamer.

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