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
10:50

“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
11:05

“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
18:25