In nearly every field of work, we are quick to jump on the latest and greatest strategy which leads to a habitual focus on what we do, rather than a deeper analysis about why we do it. Project-based learning (PBL) threatens to fall into this trap, but not if Loni Bergqvist has anything to do about it. Loni discovered a purpose-driven passion for PBL as a teacher at High Tech High in San Diego and has been on a quest to bring it to the world. She is currently the founding partner of “Imagine If” a Denmark-based organization that aims to reimagine education to be authentic, collaborative, student-owned, and equitable through PBL.

Show notes:

  • Describing the educational mecca that is High Tech High. (7:41)
  • Staying grounded in the “why” behind project-based learning. (11:55)
  • The biggest challenge faced when trying to scale the magic of High Tech High to other contexts. (14:00)
  • Reimagining education has less to do with great projects, and more to do with change management. (22:00)
  • The ongoing project of helping adults to collaborate in schools. (31:00)
  • Exploring how schools can live in a space of continuous innovation and improvement. (36:31)
  • Giving ourselves permission to cry and to feel joy. (41:45)
  • Loni’s advice for those who want to dip their toes into project-based learning. (44:00)
  • The purpose of education. (50:10

Significant Quotes:

“When young people are surrounded by adults that are passionate about what they are teaching…that ignites learning in a totally different way than we see in most schools.”

Loni Bergvist

“My ‘why’ has always been to turn ownership over to kids and allow them to be agents of their own process and their own learning journey.”

Loni Bergvist

“Due to a lot of things happening in education all the time, we’re just not accustomed to seeing change in a long-term way.”

Loni Bergvist