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Making Rigorous PBL Doable

Michael McDowell, EdD, and Kelley S. Miller

Forward by Guy Claxton

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The Project Habit

Making Rigorous PBL Doable​

Authors: Michael McDowell, EdD, and Kelley S. Miller


This book is about making small shifts in practice that promote innovation, ignite efficacy, and enhance student agency for all students in their learning.


Everyone should feel invited into the world of inquiry and innovation. Small changes in our practice allow that invitation to become a reality in everyday classrooms while celebrating the great work teachers are already doing in their classrooms.

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Download a SNEAK PEEK of the latest work by McDowell and Miller — The Project Habit: Making Rigorous PBL Doable

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From the Authors

“This book supports teachers in making small shifts in practice to get the same outcomes we see in traditional problem and project-based learning.”

– Michael McDowell

Author - McDowell


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Michael McDowell, EdD

Michael McDowell, EdD was a public school educator for eighteen years serving in the roles of classroom teacher, academic and athletic coach, school principal, assistant superintendent of personnel and instruction, and superintendent. During his tenure as a superintendent, his school district received state and national accolades including the National Blue Ribbon Award which recognized their work for student performance and mental health and well-being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. McDowell serves on numerous boards, served as a college professor, and worked for non-profit organizations to enhance student learning around the world. Over the course of his career, Dr. McDowell has authored bestselling books, created professional learning programs and workbooks, provided keynotes and workshops, and provided practical tools and resources for thousands of teachers and leaders on almost every continent around the world. A prolific author and consultant, Dr. McDowell is recognized as one of the leading authorities on integrating innovative and impactful practices into schools. Offering keynotes and executive coaching to heads of school around the world, he partners with educational leaders to implement high leverage strategies that will enhance teaching and learning in classrooms, schools, and systems.

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Kelley S. Miller

Kelley S. Miller is a teacher, coach, and author.  Her educational experience includes teaching language arts, multilingual learners, instructional coaching, and district leadership.  She supports teachers and school systems to build their collective efficacy and examine impacts on student learning.  Kelley leads professional development for Rigorous Project Based Learning and high-impact instructional strategies across the U.S. and abroad.  She lives with her family in Napa, California.

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