Play: Middle School and High School Prototypes
In the middle school, five prototypers responded to the invitation to prototype PBL. These prototypers
were from Science, Social Studies, Modern Languages, and EAL (English as an Additional Language).
A two hour professional development session, featuring Suzie Boss, was developed for middle school
faculty to explore and learn about PBL and consider how it might be used to create interdisciplinary units.
Next, prototypers had the opportunity to meet and consult with Suzie on their PBL units during a series
of office hours, or by scheduling a set appointment.
In the high school, collaboration between the English and Social Studies departments to create an
interdisciplinary PBL unit was the impetus for PBL prototyping. Four English teachers and four Social
studies teachers collaborated to prototype this unit.
Prior to the prototyping period, each of the eight teachers attended one or more of Suzie Boss’ sessions
on PBL during the ASB Un-Plugged Conference.
Share: Middle and High School Feedback
Middle and High School prototypers were asked the same questions as elementary school prototypers.
Prototypers identified a number of factors that catalyzed successful implementation of PBL units. These
Support and consultation with Suzie Boss and the PBL Task Force “Having the support of Scot [PBL
Task Force Member] and Suzie… It was very helpful to have support from Scot in our planning
session too, in order to maintain focus and advise on ideas where we hit road blocks.”
Access to Buck Institute of Education Resources. “The PBL unit was successful because I used the
Structure of the ASB PBL Prototype Model. “[The] Structure the model provided - guided us in
planning the unit [and] how are students going to be in charge of their own learning, model helped
us anticipate and plan.”
Opportunity and autonomy to learn by teaching a PBL unit. “It was helpful to meet with Suzie Boss
to learn more about how the entry event and milestones should work, but I would have to admit
that much of our learning came from actually implementing the model.”
Prototypers also identified factors that inhibited implementation of PBL units. These included:
Difficulty finding real-world experts. “Having a hard time finding experts.”
Need for stronger student background knowledge “...Especially in our context, there needed to be
a stronger front loading of learning. The kids needed stronger backgrounds before moving forward.
Without context, their “choices” were limited because they didn’t really know what they were
Need to include other faculty required to support successful implementation of a PBL unit. “There
needs to be more consideration of academic support students and how to modify the model so
they can approach their work more confidently. The freedom has been a bit overwhelming for