Professional Development


Supporting Teachers in Student-Centered Teaching: Lessons Learned from PD for PBL Implementation

Saturday, November 11
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: 209 B

Transitioning to inquiry-oriented, student-centered teaching can be challenging for both new and experienced teachers. Session participants learn how teachers can be supported in learning to implement Problem-Based Learning. PBL provides specific benefits for gifted students such as academic choice, self-directed learning, opportunities for creative problem-solving, and critical reasoning from new perspectives. Video clips of exemplar teaching and other supports provided to teachers in Project ExCEL, a Jacob K. Javits project, are shared, including lessons learned from professional development for PBL.

Rebecca L. Brusseau

Graduate Research Assistant, Project ExCEL
George Mason University


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Kelley Webb

Doctoral Student
George Mason University

Kelley Webb is a PhD student at George Mason University and Graduate Research Assistant with Project ExCEL, a federally-funded Javits grant that uses Problem-based Learning (PBL) for identifying high-ability, low-income students for potential gifted characteristics. Kelley is a former middle school Spanish teacher and international educator. Her doctoral studies are in International Education and Teaching and Teacher Education.


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Nancy Holincheck

Assistant Professor
George Mason University

Dr. Nancy Holincheck is an Assistant Professor of Education with the Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning program at George Mason University. She earned a PhD in education with a specialization in teaching and teacher education as well as an MS in applied and engineering physics from George Mason University. Among her research interests are teacher education, teacher research, STEM education, problem solving and problem-based learning. Holincheck previously taught education courses in education policy, education research, and science education at American University, and she taught teacher research courses to master’s students at George Mason. A National Board Certified Teacher since 2001, Holincheck began her teaching career as a high school physics teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia and most recently taught at Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Virginia.

Dr. Holincheck is currently involved as Project Evaluator on Project ExCEL, a 5-year research project funded by a Jacob Javits grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Project ExCEL explores the use of PBL to aid in the identification of gifted students at the middle school level, with a particular goal of identifying students who have historically been under-represented in gifted education, including low-income students and English language learners.


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Supporting Teachers in Student-Centered Teaching: Lessons Learned from PD for PBL Implementation

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