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Aurora Institute


Support Professional Learning, Rethink Instruction

Better Together: Connecting Project-Based Learning & Competency-Based Education


This webinar was recorded on .

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As we seek to shift the U.S. system of education toward competency-based education (CBE), project-based learning (PBL) offers a powerful, complementary strategy for greater student engagement and more authentic learning inside and outside the classroom, and vice versa. But how do CBE and PBL connect in actual implementation?

Please join a presentation and panel discussion on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM (ET); 10:00 – 11:00 AM (PT) to hear from experts at Lucas Education Research and Springpoint Schools, as well as a principal, teacher, network leader, and student from a high school that is implementing PBL and CBE together. Gain insights to advance project-based learning practices in your CBE-focused school, district, or other setting—as well as to support your PBL initiatives with competency-based education practices. The presentation will be immediately followed by a 30-minute optional breakout discussion to go deeper into classroom and school implementation of PBL and CBE.

* This Webinar continues the conversations from “Deepening Project-Based Learning: Lessons from Powerful New Research and Practice” (May 20, 2021)

Highlights will include:

School Spotlight on CBE and PBL Practice

School leaders and a student from the lab high school at Building 21 Allentown will discuss the lessons they have learned pursuing CBE and PBL together and how their work looks in practice.

New “Crosswalk” of CBE and PBL

Lucas Education Research has drafted a comparison of CBE and PBL, identifying major areas of shared purpose and similarities across different dimensions of the educational system—from instruction and assessment to professional learning and systems support.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the commonalities between PBL and CBE
  2. Understand the ways CBE and PBL connect in implementation at different levels of the system (classroom, school, district)
  3. Identify the big shifts needed to succeed with both of these approaches
  4. Learn to leverage the two approaches together at your school/district or in your classroom


Breonna Allah, Student, Building 21, Allentown

Telsa Comunale, Assistant School Leader, Building 21, Allentown

Kristin De Vivo, Executive Director, Lucas Education Research 

Heather Harlen, Founding Teacher, Building 21, Allentown

Christy Kingham, Director, Leadership and School Design, Springpoint

Ayris Sanders, Director of Lab Schools, Building 21 Network

Rochelle Urban, Program Manager, Lucas Education Research

Nathan Warner, Director of Teaching and Learning, Lucas Education Research

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