Recommended PBL Trainers and PD Services Organizations*

Here are the PBL Trainers, Training Institutes, and PD Services Organizations that I recommend to teachers, administrators, and districts working to implement Project-Based Learning (PBL) in today's schools. -- Bob
PBL Institutes and 21C Conferences | Study Tours and Site Visits | PBL Handbooks and Guides | Project-Based Learning
Updated: January, 2018
        1. PBL Institutes and 21st Century Learning Conferences

        2. PBL PD Service Organizations

        3. PBL Consultants

        4. Professional Development Services from New and Whole School Development Organizations

        5. PBL Resources and PD

        6. Cautionary Note on PBL Professional Development

PBL PD Service Organizations




Think Global PBL Academies (formerly Think Forward PBL Institutes). See scheduled academies.

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies are advancing deeper learning and school redesign with ARIE’s team of expert PBL practitioners. ARIE’s team have taken their years of 100% PBL practical practitioner approach to deeper learning in 21st century education and are collaborating with educators all over the world to improve Education. See the Think Global PBL Academy brochure/agenda.

Advanced Reasoning Think Global PBL Academies have created and honed PBL professional development that no other PBL course has been able to match. ARIE’s trainers have actual, relevant, 100% PBL classroom experience. In fact, the classroom is our proving ground for testing innovative ways to engage students and rekindle the fire in teachers. We still hold true to those things that work, but if there is a way to do it better, we seek to find it and refine it.

If you are interested in stretching your deeper learning approach to include 21st Century skills, to improve the culture of your classroom or campus, and inspire students to want to learn, Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy can help you. If you are interested in attending or hosting an Advanced Reasoning Global PBL Academy contact us today.

Contact us at 1-800-940-5663 and Click here for the ARIE brochure (PDF). See scheduled academies.

Advanced Reasoning in Education is led by Steven Zipkes, former founding principal of Manor New Technology High in Manor, TX. After 10 years of impacting 21st century education and influencing educators and leaders from all over the world, Zipkes has expanded his school redesign vision of creativity, deeper learning practices, and systemic change that transformed an idea into a Nationally Recognized, 100%Project Based Learning STEM School, and formed Advanced Reasoning In Education.

Twitter: @ThinkGlobalPBL

PBLife Blog by Dr. Janice Trinidad, ARIE Think Global PBL trainer and coach

Buck Institute for Education - Core and Systemic PBL implementation Services

BIE conducts PBL Professional Development for K-14 educators throughout the United States and internationally. This professional development occurs in a sustained-support model, meaning we only agree to partner with organizations (districts, counties, ministries of education, states and - in rare instances - individual schools) that are willing to commit energy and resources to a collaboratively crafted multi-year program of face-to-face and virtual support. BIE is based in Novato, CA, but provides PD services nationally and internationally. BIE has a National Faculty of 91 trainers.

For general questions (pricing, content, scheduling, etc.) contact BIE at


Engage! Learning

engage2learn exists to grow teachers, coach leaders and engage communities to achieve their highest hopes for students. Over the past five years, engage2learn has worked with educators and communities in and out of Texas to help them design, implement, and sustain their own local vision for learning. Because of our partnership with these forward-thinking school districts, over one million students have experienced a more engaging learning environment while acquiring necessary Future Ready Skills. It all starts with empowering local communities to design their own vision for learning.


Contact: Shannon Buerk, Chief Learning Officer, 214.938.8254
Twitter: @engage_learning


Magnify Learning

Magnify Learning offers On-site Professional Development, PBL Certification, and the 4-day Magnify Learning Project-Based Learning Institute, June 25-28, 2018, in two Indiana locations: Columbus and Indianapolis. . On-site Professional Development brings high quality PBL-based training, customized for your organization, to your entity. Prior to the training at your location, facilitators will work with you to design a professional development program that addresses the specific needs of your staff and educational community. For the on-site workshops, we maintain a ratio of 1 facilitator for every 15 participants, so the training will remain personal and differentiated. An on-site training can be the team building experience you need to empower your staff and to help get them all moving in the same direction. To get started in planning a unique professional development experience at your site, contact Ryan Steuer, Magnify Learning Executive Director,

New Technology High School Center for Excellence, Napa, CA.

New Technology High School, Napa, CA, the flagship school of the New Tech Network, offers Trainings, Study Tours, and special institutes.

Trainings: Through the New Tech High Center for Excellence, we offer extended trainings for schools and educators. These trainings can either be held on-site at New Tech High or our trainers will come to you. For more information on pricing and how to set-up a training please visit the link below.

Study Tours: The Study Tours are an extensive one day training session that provides schools and educators a deeper look at how New Tech High has become a leader in project-based learning and school reform. Participants will tour the campus, learn more about the New Tech model and interact informally with students and staff.

Rigorous PBL by Design with Michael McDowell, Ed.D , April 18-20, 2018

Contact Aaron Eisberg, Center for Excellence Coordinator, with any questions at


MINDQUEST21™, Chicago, IL - Cultivating 21st Century Skills, Deeper Learning Teaching Strategies, and Digital Tools.

MindQuest21 is a unique, classroom-tested, award winning and innovative school transformation program that prepares educators for schoolwide or districtwide adoptions of Project-Based-Learning infused with technology (PBL-T) across the curriculum. MindQuest21sm prepares school teams to transform instruction with the adaption and/or expansion of Project- Based Learning aimed to produce deeper learning outcomes for all students. It leads to substantive changes in curriculum, instruction and assessment. MindQuest21 is led by Jim Bellanca and the ILC21 PD Team.

PBL Consultants

Michelle Swanson & Theron Cosgrave, Swanson & Cosgrave, Eugene, OR, and Davis, CA

"In our work with schools, districts, and educational organizations, we often partner with schools and communities to design engaging new small school and pathway programs; develop and deliver customized workshops on topics such as Project-Based Learning, developing teaching teams, and effective assessment; coach teachers and school leaders to improve their student learning results; and design and write documents and tools to help educators learn new skills and organize their work." Click here for descriptions of 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day PBL workshops offered by Swanson and Cosgrave. See Services for Professional development, Leadership Coaching, and Program Design.

Contact: Michelle Swanson, (541) 543-9179; Theron Cosgrave, (530) 753-4477

Thom Markham, PBL Global, San Rafael, CA

Thom Markham was the principal author of BIE's PBL Handbook and is the author of the PBL Design and Coaching Guide.

"Online coaching and consulting is available using the latest meeting and video technologies. I offer low-cost, individually-designed professional development programs in project based learning or school redesign, either in the U.S. or internationally. Please contact me for pricing for your team or school."

News and notes: Read how Districts can start up PBL the right way.
December 2, 2015: How to Make Sure That Project-based Learning is Applied Well in Schools, By Thom Markham, MindShift/KQED News.

David Stephen, New Vista Designs for Learning, Boston, MA 02130

A founding member of the nationally acclaimed High Tech High network of schools, David offers a range of targeted professional development workshops as well as ongoing technical assistance to schools and school districts nationwide.

PBL Training and Curriculum Design Services: "New Vista workshops model effective inquiry-based teaching and learning practices, including hands-on and project-based activities, performance-based assessments, exhibitions, and individual reflection." For more information about workshops and fees, contact David Stephen. See recent New Vista projects

Liza Bearman, bearman educational services, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Bearman has spent the past 25 years working to help transform k-12 education by co-creating learning environments that address the unique lives and interests of students through real-world and project-based teaching and learning to increase both student engagement and success. Primary areas of expertise and experience also include pre-service teacher training as a Professor of Education, mentoring and training in-service teachers (in alternative, public, charter, independent and a variety of other educational settings) in the areas of curriculum and assessment, leadership coaching, designing on and off-site field experiences rooted in classroom content, creation of original school materials (i.e. lessons, units, assessments), community partner training and development, and overall program design and implementation for capacity building and long-term sustainability.

Contact:, (917) 549-2263,

Professional Development Services from New and Whole School Development Organizations

These organizations are the best national organizations supporting new and whole school development and districtwide development (also see BIE above).
Big Picture Learning: www.bigpicture.orgPD Services

Big Picture Learning's mission is to lead vital changes in education, both in the United States and internationally, by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized schools that work in tandem with the real world of the greater community. Big Picture Learning believes that in order to sustain successful schools where authentic and relevant learning takes place, we must continually innovate techniques and test learning tools to make our schools better and more rigorous. Lastly, Big Picture Learning believes that in order to create and influence the schools of the future, we must use the lessons learned through our practice and research to give us added leverage to impact changes in public policy. Browse the site to learn about upcoming events, download podcasts and order materials.

New Tech Network: www.newtechnetwork.orgPD Services

New Tech Network works nationwide with schools, districts and communities to develop innovative public high schools. We provide services and support that enable schools to fundamentally rethink teaching and learning. Our goal is to enable students to gain the knowledge and 21st century skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow. The New Tech model provides an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated technology in the classroom. Our hands-on, multi-year approach gives schools structure and support to ensure long-term success.

Envision Schools: www.envisionschools.orgPD Services

Founded as a charter management organization in 2002, Envision Schools offers an innovative curriculum, instruction, and assessment model specifically designed to enable underserved students to master core academic disciplines and higher order cognitive skills, also known as 21st Century Skills. We employ the best practices of high school design — rigorous college-preparatory curricula, small and personalized learning environments, and a focus on measurable results — and add a truly innovative model that emphasizes project-based learning, development of Deeper Learning skills, integration of arts and technology into core subjects, real-world experience in workplaces, and a uniquely rigorous assessment system.

Edvisions Schools: PD Services

Professional Development on Personalized Learning, Project Based Learning, Advisories, Small Learning Communities, Teacher Professional Practice, Restorative Process, School Finance, Project Foundry, Hope Survey.

Expeditionary Learning: www.elschools.orgPD Services

EL partners with schools, districts, and charter boards to open new schools and transform existing schools. EL provides school leaders and teachers with professional development, curriculum planning resources, and new school structures to boost student engagement, character, and achievement.

High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE): www.gse.hightechhigh.orgPD Services

The High Tech High Graduate School of Education (GSE) supports teachers, educational leaders and school founders in reimagining schools with a focus on equity, deeper learning and shared leadership. The GSE is embedded within the 13 High Tech High K-12 schools, providing a rich context for personalized, hands-on learning and the integration of theory and practice. The GSE offers graduate programs and also professional education, incl;uding tours, institutes, a PBL Leadership Academy, and other offerings.

PBL Resources and PD

These organizations provide great resources for PBL implementation and also provide companion PD Services.
Knights of Knowledge: PD Services

PBL Pioneers David Thornburg, Norma Thornburg, and Sara Armstrong have produced a terrific set of video-based PBL inquiry starters across the curriculum, what some of us call video entry documents for project-based learning. See exemplars at They provide a workshop to help teachers understand how to launch effective projects. These video starters cover all curriculum areas, but have a special focus on STEM.

1/4/14 -- David Thornburg has just announced that the 50 video-based PBL inquiry starters are now available for free download at:

  1. Google Chrome Webstore (using the Chrome browser); or

Educators are advised to engage in high quality PBL training like the KoK workshops to develop quality projects using these starter videos (see note below).

Buck Institute for Education

The Buck Institute of Education's Project Search is now (2012) the best source on the web for project exemplars. It includes projects from numerous PBL sources including ConnectEd, Envision Schools, Expeditionary Learning, High Tech High, West Virginia DOE, and others.

BIE's Project Libraries Page -- Links to online project libraries from the best PBL sources.

BIE PBL Professional Development

Envision Schools: www.envisionschools.orgPD Services

Envision Schools Project Exchange

Expeditionary Learning: www.elschools.orgPD Services

EL is the contractor to NY State for its Common Core Curriculum for grades 3-5 and 6-8. See the website.

High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE): www.gse.hightechhigh.orgPD Services

High Tech High Project Library


The PBL Teacher Series will be offered for the third and final time during this pilot starting on January 7, 2013. This will be the last opportunity to take all or any outstanding classes in the PBL Teacher Series, before we take a break and determine when to offer them in the future. PBLU is a project of the the Buck Institute for Education.

DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup from Edutopia

Why wait for a formal workshop environment to start improving your teaching craft, when there are so many opportunities to build your network and learn new skills on your own? Edutopia staff have compiled a list of the best resources for do-it-yourself PD to get you started.

* PBL Trainers, Training Institutes, and PD Services Organizations that would like to be included for recommendation on this page, please email me at

Cautionary Note on PBL Professional Development: PBL is hard to do well. PBL and authentic assessment require significant professional development. Districts and states that hope to spread PBL through a set of workshops and one to two week training sessions will not achieve their goal. Districts and states that wish to scale 21st Century Learning through PBL should adopt a comprehensive systems approach to professional development that includes a system of shadowing, training, and personal coaching for every teacher, a professional learning community within a school and across schools, and an online sharing community, all carried out over a multi-year time frame. All the organizations and individuals recommended above can be highly effective in helping districts and schools, but only if they are deployed sufficiently for training and coaching. See my articles on 21st Century Learning. -- Bob