Interest in project-based learning (PBL) in South Carolina is growing rapidly. A number of schools and districts in South Carolina are incorporating some project-based learning into their curricula as a way to get to the deeper learning needed to better prepare students for college and careers. Some schools have created PBL-based schools-within-schools and some have fully converted to a PBL model. As schools continue to implement this approach to education, superintendents and principals have called for more teachers who understand how to design, deliver, support and assess quality project-based learning. The scarcity of teachers has been emphatically identified by a number of the state’s education stakeholders as one of the leading obstacles to broad implementation of this innovative and proven methodology. In response to this need for more PBL-trained teachers, the Riley Institute at Furman partnered with key colleges of education throughout the state including those at Furman, Claflin, College of Charleston, and Winthrop to jointly develop a three-course project-based learning endorsement for South Carolina’s teachers. With support from the South Carolina Department of Education, the detailed three-course endorsement was approved by the State Board of Education in fall 2014 and the Legislature in spring 2015. Furman University’s Graduate Studies offered the first courses in summer 2015 in partnership with Greenville County Schools and the first nine teachers completed the courses in spring 2016. In summer 2016, Furman again partnered with GCS and Spartanburg School District 6 to offer the endorsement to teachers. Those teachers gained the endorsement in spring 2017.
Learn more about the Childers’ Project-Based-Learning Classroom at Furman.