Here is how a few past participants answered this question:
“While I had been introduced to PBL prior to doing the residency, I found the residency extremely helpful for a number of reasons. Here are five:
Collaboration time with other teachers was really helpful. There were so many good ideas being shared in our groups.
It was a week of time where I could really focus on developing one good project. During a regular school year, there isn’t time to really work through all of the details of a project. The residency gave me some focused time to develop a project, and work on the details of it with a group of “experts” on creating projects
No project is perfect, so why not spend some time making an existing project better?
I knew about all of the elements that should go into project design, but found that including all of them was often difficult. The PBL track of the Residency helped me to figure out better ways to include all of the elements of an effective PBL project. For example, protocols with students. I tried them before with limited success. Now I’m a little better at helping my students run through a tuning protocol. Also, I learned that there are many ways to run a tuning protocol and many different ways to get students to provide feedback to one another that is helpful and valuable and specific and kind.
I learned how to develop an atmosphere in my classroom where it’s OK (even encouraged) to try something and fail, rather than to not participate.
These are my top 5 reasons for why attending PBL Residency is useful, even if you’re already familiar with the PBL approach.”
“Knowing about PBL and practicing it are completely different. The PBL track of the Residency allows you to experiment and get valuable feedback on new project ideas (or old ones). It provides a safe environment for trying new things, and you get inspired by witnessing the evolution of many other projects, from a variety of subjects and grades.”