Five Equity-Related Tensions in Project-Based Learning
This chapter explores equity-related tensions, which can be easily overlooked. It starts by making the case that, to ensure that all students graduate high school prepared for success in their career and civic lives, they must master a combination of competencies, which in turn requires a different approach to teaching and learning. The chapter explores how research– practice partnerships (RPPs) involving multiple institutions can address the challenges of deepening and scaling project-based learning (PBL). It argues that RPPs support evidence-based decisions in localization of curriculum and develop sustainable communities of practice that foster a collaborative infrastructure for PBL. The chapter discusses five equity-related tensions between the macro- and micro-factors of enacting equitable PBL— the why, what, where/when, how, and who of PBL that must be coordinated to develop, spread, sustain deeper learning practices and outcomes. The intentional investigation guided by RPPs offers a promising, actionable approach to fostering a culture of learning and improvement to address these tensions.