The Need for Project Based Learning


We believe all students – no matter where they live or what their background – must have access to high quality project based learning. This enables students to master academic content and skills, develop skills necessary for future success, and build the personal agency needed to tackle life’s and the world’s challenges. This is especially true for students furthest from opportunity.


High Quality Project Based Learning is often the result of rigorous project design. Effective PBL educators design projects using a variety of different tools and frameworks. While ‘how’ PBL educators design and implement projects in their settings may vary, consistently they express a common purpose for using PBL.


While there is general agreement about why High Quality PBL is an important approach and on methods for effective implementation, a common concern from the PBL community is that there has never been a common definition for what it looks like in practice. The Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning was created to address this issue.

The People

With support from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Buck Institute for Education facilitated the development of the Framework for HQ PBL. The development of the Framework took twelve months and was a highly collaborative and iterative process.

The heart of this effort was collaboration because in order to create an exemplary, co-defined understanding, we needed to recruit the voices of the best and the brightest from the world of PBL. The most vital group leading the HQPBL effort are PBL educators around the world—so get involved!

Steering Committee

HQPBL is led by a talented and inclusive steering committee of 27 members who represent a variety of stakeholder groups, from practitioners to prominent thought leaders. There are members from all over the world including the US, Finland, Chile, Korea and China.

The Steering Committee was responsible for the initial ideas behind the Framework. They also collected feedback from the public, from teachers and other organizations to help the team adapt the Framework.

Advisory Group

The campaign was also aided by an advisory team, a diverse collection of 90 thinkers, leaders and practitioners helping to shape the Framework. The Advisory Committee made invaluable additions to feedback sessions and communication campaigns.

Who is Committed to HQPBL?