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How to Reach Every Student With Authentic Project-Based Learning

Unlock the power of ‘voice and choice’ for every student by making project-based learning part of your curriculum

Instructor: Dr. John Spencer

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Professor and best-selling author Dr. John Spencer is among the world’s foremost voices on the power of Project-Based Learning in K-12 schools. In this multi-part collaborative professional learning experience, John shows educators how to use the principles of Project-Based Learning and Collaborative Thinking to inspire creativity and drive engagement to close academic gaps and accelerate learning in every classroom, regardless of challenges or circumstances. Choose your level of participation below and join an open cohort today.


This cohort’s dates will be confirmed shortly.


Starting at $900 per person for seven sessions, lower cost per person when you send a team.

Who should attend

Classroom teachers and district and school-level administrators will benefit most from this cohort, all are welcome.

Meet your instructor

John Spencer is a former middle school teacher and current full-time professor who is passionate about seeing teachers empower their students with voice and choice. He is the author of the best-selling books Launch, Empower, and Vintage Innovation. John has presented to audiences all over the world, including Hong Kong, Australia and the Netherlands. His work focuses on helping teachers unleash the creative potential in all of their students, so that kids can be makers, designers, artists and engineers.

The Experience

Here’s what to expect when you, or members of your team, sign up to learn about the power of creativity and project-based learning to accelerate learning with John Spencer.

Monthly learning conversations

Series of (7) guided virtual conversations designed to help you understand the principles of project-based learning, model PBL and the maker mindset in classroom practices and accelerate learning through creativity and collaborative thinking for all students.

Monthly creativity workshops (to demo PBL concepts)

In addition to monthly group conversations, every educator who registers for the Learning & Doing option (see packages below) is invited to participate in a monthly working session with John to explore new concepts, demo creative projects, ask questions and seek advice on implementation.

Bonus: Every registrant receives access to John’s PBL Toolkit

The Toolkit includes:

> 10 common questions about PBL
> The benefits of PBL in classrooms
> Design elements of PBL for teachers
> How to do PBL and still teach to standards

The Outcomes

The path to accelerated student learning through PBL starts with a committed approach and a willingness to think creatively. School leaders and teachers who complete this program will learn to:

  • Use authentic hands-on classroom lessons to engage students and promote voice and choice, wherever learning happens.
  • Help students engage in collaborative projects and critical thinking inside and outside the classroom.
  • Use the principles of PBL to inspire students and accelerate learning with a focus on creativity, teamwork and the practical application of real-world concepts.
  • Think differently about how they teach and provide new opportunities for students that more closely align to their interests and passions and keep them engaged.

What educators are saying...

“As we continue our journey to provided quality learning opportunities to our students, Johnʻs work will be an important resource. We highly encourage other schools to offer Johnʻs resources to their teachers.”

JoAnn Wong-Kam, Managing Director of Ho'olaukoa

Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, HI

“Dr. Spencer inspired my teachers to get back to creating classrooms full of “creativity and wonder”. I now hear conversations among teachers as to how to “launch” a PBL project in their class, how they are incorporating empathy into projects, and how service learning is changing their students mindsets.“

Lauren Crabtree, Principal

Douglas County Schools, Douglasville, GA

“John brought a great deal of energy and a fun sense of humor to his workshop that created a fun learning atmosphere for our faculty in a stressful time. I highly recommend John’s workshop and hope he can come back to CFS in the future!”

Eric Fulmer, Dean of Faculty

Church Farm School, Exton, PA

The Schedule

Introducing the Roadmap for Collaborative Thinking & Project-Based Learning

5 Ways to Implement (and Manage) PBL in the Classroom

Aligning PBL to Academic Standards

The Surprising Science of Project Fatigue (And How to Prevent It)

Boosting Collaboration through Self-Direction and Interdependence

Student-Centered Assessment in PBL

Wrap-Up: Trouble-Shooting Challenges in PBL

What's the cost?

(Lower cost per person when you send a team)


Learning Cohort

(7) monthly learning conversations

Monthly creativity workshops

Plus, access to John’s PBL Toolkit


Learning + Doing Cohort

(7) monthly learning conversations

Monthly creativity workshops

Plus, access to John’s PBL Toolkit

If you are interested in this professional learning for a team larger than 15 or a district-wide implementation, please send us a note.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the How to Reach Every Student With Authentic Project-Based Learning cohort?

Created by John Spencer, best-selling author, college professor and former classroom educator, the How to Reach Every Student With Authentic Project-Based Learning cohort is a seven-session virtual training program and hands-on workshop for K-12 educators, designed to help them use principles of project-based learning and collaborative thinking to close academic gaps and accelerate learning for all students. Registrations are available to individual educators and to district teams. Packages are available to suit different finances and time commitments.

Why do this as part of a cohort?

The cohort model is designed to give educators an affordable and convenient way to learn the pedagogical principles of project-based learning and a practical roadmap to effectively model those principles in their daily work with students. Individuals and Teams can register for the Learning or Learning + Doing package(s). Register for up to (15) team members using this registration form. You can purchase multiple team registrations to accommodate more than (15) team members in a single cohort, or simply reach out using the form below to inquire about large group options for your school or district.

What’s included in this program?

Delivered over multiple months, the program includes a scheduled series of (7) monthly learning conversations and, depending on your level of investment, access to monthly creativity workshops.

Who should participate?

The How to Reach Every Student With Authentic Project-Based Learning cohort is designed specifically for K-12 school district teachers and curriculum-focused school leaders. Recommended participants include K-12 teachers of all disciplines and/or chief academic and curriculum officers. The multi-month program is designed to work within educators’ busy schedules. Should you or your team find value in the experience and want to invest in the work more deeply, a full-district program is also available.

How will this help my team?

The cohort experience provides a unique opportunity for educators to learn from and talk candidly with one of the nation’s foremost experts on project-based learning and collaborative thinking, while also engaging with one another and the instructor via hands-on workshops to solve problems of practice and engage more students. Unlike one-off seminars and keynote speeches, the Learning + Doing cohort package provides a clear opportunity for sustained development and provides the basis for a framework that school leaders can use to create stronger, more supportive and engaging classroom environments, with higher quality, creative instruction.

What is the schedule?

There are seven sessions in this cohort, scheduled monthly. Plus, depending on your commitment, monthly workshops. See the schedule on this page for more. Additional cohorts may be opened as needed to accommodate demand.

How can I participate?

If you’re interested in joining an upcoming How to Reach Every Student With Authentic Project-Based Learning cohort, you can save your spot by following the button on this page. Once you sign up, you’ll receive more information about the program — plus, an invoice that you can use to reserve your district’s spot and submit payment. You’ll also receive a detailed follow-up email with information about your cohort, including session dates and times and log-in credentials. Should you have questions any time throughout the process, you’ll receive the phone and email of our project coordinator to ensure a positive experience.

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