Authors: Jeanne Purcell, Deborah E. Burns, Wellesley H. Purcell
Product Code: 0196
ISBN: 9781646320196
Pages: 216
Availability: In stock.

Many educators appreciate the value of interest-based learning, but struggle with the management and facilitation of individual and small-group projects in a limited space and time allocation. This easy-to-read guide:

  • Features a step-by-step plan for managing Genius Hour, passion projects, Makerspaces, and more.
  • Includes time-saving planning templates, checklists, and charts.
  • Supports students’ intrinsic motivation for learning, agency, voice, and problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Provides a systematic and practical approach to interest-based learning.
  • Can be implemented and adapted by an individual teacher, department, or team.

Chapters also include techniques for helping students identify their interests, frame their goals and questions, create project plans and timelines, self-assess their progress, and share their work with real-world audiences.


Average Rating:
(based on 5 reviews)

Showing 5 Reviews:

by Cynthia Attanasio
on 6/23/2020
from Cheshire, CT
Excellent IBL Resource
The Interest-Based Learning Coach is a detailed resource for teachers who wish to incorporate, or who have already incorporated, IBL in their classrooms.  The title says it all, it is indeed a “coach”.  Purcell, Burns, and Purcell provide a comprehensive 8-step process that supports any Inquiry-Based Learning model and is deeply rooted in research.  They show how to align projects with both CCSS and NGSS standards as well as 21st-century skills and social-emotional learning tenets.  They share their knowledge and experience in a user-friendly way and even provide case studies of a variety of learners; students with learning challenges, advanced learners, and disruptive learners with anger management issues, to name a few.  These case studies are referenced throughout the book at the various stages to help illustrate the management of these learners. 

This book is truly comprehensive and step by step, almost like a teacher’s manual.  There are many resources provided within each chapter and in the appendix and many have editable components that can be accessed on the website which are a time-saver for teachers.  I appreciated the high-quality inquiry questions alongside the examples of questions in need of revision to make clear the difference between a question that meets the traits of a good research question and those that lack focus, are too broad or narrow, or questions that may not be feasible or manageable.  Assessing IBL projects and targets with student-friendly proficiency levels that are simple yet complete is yet another way the authors make implementing IBL easier.  The book is jam-packed with resources such as a list of strategies to save classroom time, a list of TED Talks and Youtube videos to spark interest, a table with examples of student goal statements, a Learning Target and Success Criteria Menu, and scripted conference examples with guiding questions.  Purcell, Burns, and Purcell have categorized the types of research based on a student’s goals and inquiry questions and explain the research process in detail.  

As a 6th-Grade language arts and science teacher who has dabbled in IBL, I found that the book clarified issues such as finding time within the day, managing student data with an action plan, conducting student conferences at every stage, and facilitating each step of the process. Where was this book when I needed it? I certainly will use The Interest-Based Learning Coach in the future.
by Alicia Hanson
on 6/15/2020
Highly Recommended Resource
As an elementary teacher for the past 18 years, I have read my share of resource materials.  The majority are difficult to follow or impossible to implement alongside the mandated curriculum. The Interest-Based Learning Coach is the outlier. It contains not only usable ideas, but resources and sample scripts to assist in implementation. Each chapter is organized in a logical order with clearly defined goals that the reader can use to move through specific sections that interest you. I highly recommend it. 
by Gino LoRicco, Principal
on 6/4/2020
from Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Lebanon, NH
Supports Promising Student-Centered Practices
For many students today in public schools “work” is just a four letter word! They are often uninspired by it, and feel disconnected from it because it is not meaningful to them. “The Interest-Based Learning Coach” will give you a framework to support promising student-centered practices such as Genius Hour, Passion Projects, Maker Spaces, and Project Based Learning (to name but a few) so that students can become empowered lifelong learners! 

Learning should be fun, and I would even go as far as to say joyful.  By giving students a pathway to systematically include their interests, help focus their attention on their goals, conduct research and experiments for their learning and making their work authentic, students will have the tools to be happy and successful people regardless of the career they choose. I am getting copies of this book for my staff and hope to have the authors visit my school. 
by Laureen Mody, Retired Administrator
on 5/28/2020
from Stamford Public Schools, CT
A Powerful Avenue for Teachers to Connect With Their Students
This book presents a profound way to capture interest, excitement, and engagement among students while providing a powerful and meaningful avenue for teachers to connect with their students, one on one, through curriculum and instruction. 

Personally, and as a former administrator in Stamford Public Schools, I see this new coaching tool as an opportunity for an administrator to connect more closely with teachers and their respective classrooms. Specifically, I would purchase this book for each of my teachers as a book study text. Over the course of the school year, we would implement each step, assess the efficacy of our work and tweak it accordingly for our unique setting. The ultimate payback?  As an administrator with over 25 years of experience, I am confident that we would see more collaboration among the administrators and teachers, more engagement and higher achievement from our collective and diverse students, and a more positive relationship with our community. 
by Adele D. Swart
on 5/28/2020
English teacher
This book provides teachers or interdisciplinary teams a comprehensive guide to motivate learners of all abilities and ages.  If you think IBL would only work with highly motivated, independent students, you’ll be happy to read a variety of helpful case studies which demonstrate that IBL engages students with learning disabilities, students who have a hard time getting started, students who don’t usually find school projects relevant or appealing.  IBL provides countless opportunities for students to engage in in their learning, set goals, explore, research and analyze resources to complete higher quality work which meets grade level standards. 

The step by step format provides wonderful detailed resources: student interest surveys, templates to create an action plan, conference guidelines and resource ideas. . . .It's all there!
Review and Rate this Item

Email A Friend

Send your friend a link to this product.