Susan Riley | December 2015

Episode 34: Mastering the Basics of PBL

Today’s SparkChasers Podcast marks our first interview!  I was so excited to be able to speak with our resident PBL and the Arts expert, Brianne DeFrang, all about project-based learning and how we can use it with arts integration.  Now, I’ve known Brianne for a long time. She has been sharing her knowledge about Project Based Learning and the Arts here on IAS for over a year now in her Friday article segment. However, there are STILL so many things that I didn’t understand (like what’s the REAL difference between project and process based learning).  It was so helpful to me to have a chance to ask her some of these questions. Now I get to share it with you!

In today’s episode, Brianne is really taking us back to the basics of PBL as a teaching approach.  Because after all, if you don’t have the basics down pat, you’ll never be able to really build up to those deeply meaningful experiences in your classroom.  She shares how the inquiry process sets the foundation for everything and links together PBL and the arts in a really beautiful way.  She also goes over some sample lesson ideas and how to get started while avoiding some common pitfalls.  It’s such a helpful interview for anyone who is looking to link together the inquiry process in and through the arts!


Need a few PBL lesson plan ideas?  Try the BiE Project Search Engine and find a ton of new lessons!

View ALL of Brianne’s articles and resource downloads on PBL and the Arts right here.

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan