I'm posting this email without the writer's name:
My local school district is talking about reinventing the high school around a project-based learning model. I don't know much about this stuff, but I'm concerned about some of the things I'm hearing. Are you aware of any scholarly research that's been done on PBL? There will be some public forums coming up soon, and I'd like to have some hard evidence (one way or the other) to rely on. I just recently found your blog, so perhaps you've written something on PBL that you could recommend as well?
That reminds me: I never got around to writing a post about what happened in Holland when the public schools there moved wholesale to integrated, interdisciplinary, project-based learning.
People hated it. Hated it. People hated it so much they pulled their kids out of the schools and put them in the Gymnasium. I don't know what the Gymnasium are, but I do know that they are in some way associated with Erasmus and that students attending Gymnasium learn Latin and Greek.
We heard this story from a professor friend of Ed's, who said her sister had attended Gymnasium and had read Homer in the original Greek by the time she was in 8th grade. As I recall.
Ed's friend said so many people pulled their kids out of the project schools that they finally had to drop the project method and go back to teaching subjects.
I cherish that story.