I’m here to speak to you about the importance of teaching primary and secondary students the life skill of project management.
We can think of our lives, and those of students, as a set of complex projects. Think about the elements of a project: it’s temporary (although it could last a few seconds or several centuries); It is clear when it starts and when it’s done, often because it’s constrained by time, money, or other resources; It has a purpose. Examples of projects include things as simple as making and eating a sandwich, to as complex as landing on the moon; as small as making a kite, or as large as constructing a skyscraper; as easy as learning a new exercise routine, or as difficult as researching a cure for cancer. For students, projects can be learning about the letter “A,” developing something to show in a science fair, or successfully completing a class in 4 th grade science, creative writing, or differential calculus. In our lives, we do many projects at the same time. As students advance in their schools, they lead even busier lives with multiple projects, after school jobs, multiple classes and trying to complete everything they need to graduate.
Students are given complex projects as early as 4 th grade and they are graded on the these projects. We wouldn’t expect a student to write a paper without providing instruction in grammar and spelling; nor would be expect a child to pass a math test with knowing how to add and subtract. Yet we grade students on projects and don’t teach the project management skills. And as our students move beyond elementary school, the projects they are assigned are more complex, and they have different projects going on in different classes. All of this requires that students learn more sophisticated project management skills. Learning project management skills, including prioritization and scheduling multiple, inter-related tasks helps students balance their workload, while giving them practice in skills they will be able to use when they graduate and join the workforce.
Teachers and administrators gain professional benefits when they receive project management training that they can use to manage their schools and classrooms. Teacher training programs today require that teachers learn a number of skills, but not project management skills. A few states are recognizing this fact, and addressing it.
*Note that these are the skills noted in the Project Management Book of Knowledge ®, ANSI/PMI 99-01-2008, the Project Management Institute’s Global Standard that is used in the US by government and industries of all types. Some of the skill sets overlap, but they generally appear in the PMBOK like they do in the table. Management skills are used to manage work. Management skills support the 5 process groups of project management: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing projects. Some of these skills are taught in teacher training, but some are not. If teachers are taught the global-industry-standard skills for project management, they can pass them on to students If students learn these skills, they can become better able to manage their school demands and the other demands on their lives. Interpersonal skills allow project managers to accomplish work through team members and/or stakeholders. Interpersonal skills are relevant whether teachers or students are working in groups, or as individuals. Again, some of these skills are incorporated into teacher training, but many are not. If students learn these skills as part of their schooling, they are better prepared to deal with life, in general. Technical skills are skills used to conduct project work. Technical skills are those skills that teachers teach and that students learn. Teachers learn these skills as the subject matter of their specialties, e.g., math, foreign languages, computer education, early childhood education (that covers all subjects that they are required to teach), etc., and teach these skills to students.
A new frontier of education has emerged in which projects have become an integral part of a child’s learning experience and as project based learning increases in the classroom, many schools are seeing decreased drop-out rates, increased standardized test scores, and increased numbers of students going on to schools beyond high school. States are starting to recognize the value of project management for their students and teachers. As the states of North Carolina and Washington State started to investigate new programs they turned to business leaders to provide input and these business leaders told them that project management is a valuable skill set and one that they would like their future employees have. The State of North Carolina is developing a series of four project management courses and reached out to the Foundation for help. The State of North Carolina is part of the Southern Regional Education Board, a coalition of 16 states that develop curriculum and training resources. There is potential that the project management program could adopted by all of the 16 states. Washington State is evaluating a project management framework that would be incorporated into the state’s Career and Technical Education programs. The framework is based on PMBOK and incorporates PMI principles. Both of these programs provide a wonderful opportunity to teach youth an important life skill.
Whether students choose the profession of project management, own their own business or work as an engineer, teacher or architect, they will all use project management skill and employers value this skill. US Government and industry has used project management for the past 60 years, and within the past 20 years, its use has spread throughout global industry. Some of the more common industries that require the use of project management include: Construction, Medicine, Information Technology, Banking, Government, Defense Programs, and Technology Development. Many studies and examples of the benefits of the use of project management can be found, but it’s only very recently that our educational system has begun to recognize that students need these skills to be successful in their ultimate work lives.
Project based learned involves projects focused on solving complex, real world problems. Students work individually or in small groups to investigate, research and create solution to problems that have multiple solutions and methods for researching them. Teachers and students “contract” to achieve required competencies, and track progress towards goals. Research on learning through projects demonstrates that student gains in factual learning were equal or better to those using more traditional learning methods. School attendance is higher because students are engaged because they have the opportunity to work on real problems, sometimes problems that the students identify for themselves. This method of learning is gaining in popularity because it is highly effective with this generation of digital learners. Since students learn through projects it make sense that project management tools and terminology are integrated in project learning programs.
As a non-profit and through our partnerships, we can connect schools with resources to implement project management programs for youth.
A student project is a key component of any project management program. Project management professionals will attend classes and work with the students and be a resource for the teachers. We also realize that many primary and secondary teachers do not have project management training, so the mentor become a resource for these teachers. Pictured here are mentors from a program held in Philadelphia.
The Project Management Toolkit for Youth provides classroom resources for ages 6 – 18 and the materials incorporate 21 st century skill building. All of these materials are available in English and some are available in Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and soon will be available in Arabic. They are available for download from www.pmief.org or we can send CDs or hard copy materials, upon request.
We provide academic scholarships for students pursuing project management careers and training scholarships for teachers. Teachers can attend on-site or virtual classes. In some states, the teacher training counts as Continuing Education Units for certification.
Through grants we are funding the development for training seminars for teachers, curriculum development and classes for children in third world countries. Again, materials developed by the PMIEF are, for the most part, in the public domain and free for use. Some projects are currently underway in Europe, Africa, and South America.
Careers in project management is another resource that can be used in schools. This resource provides information about salary levels, industries that employ project management and examples of the type of work that project managers do and the impact that they have. This can be taken to guidance counselor, used at a career fair, or during a career presentation. Careers in PM has been used in schools and programs throughout the world including India and Washington, DC.
Project Management Skills for Life provides a basic introduction to project management and is perfect for a 4 to 8 hour class, or to be used with an school club or student competition. This is available in both English and Spanish and contains Power Point presentation with instructor notes and a student manual.
PMI members are working with their local schools and youth organizations to begin programs, over 40 programs have been started around the world demonstrating that schools see the value of project management programs.
All of our programs and materials can be found on our web site, www.pmief.org, or by contacting Diane.
Pm toolkit for_youth
Project ManagementLife Skills for Youthwww.pmief.org
Our lives, and the lives of students are, in part, a set of complex projects.A project is a temporary endeavor, having a definedbeginning and end, undertaken to create a uniqueproduct, service, or result.
Some students are given projects in preschool or kindergarten, and…by the time they’re in elementary school, students are givencomplex projects. Yet we don’t consistently teach the skillsthey need to be successful in completing their projects.
Teachers conduct projects as part of their jobs, and lead and mentor on student’s projectsProject Management is a professional competencyfor teachers and administrators and a tool theycan bring to their students, yet teachers, typically,are not trained in project management skills, tools, or techniques.
Project Management covers a wide array of skill sets* Management Interpersonal Technical Skills Skills SkillsConceptualizing Leadership School SubjectsPlanning and Team BuildingPrioritizingExecuting MotivationControlling CommunicationPresentation InfluencingNegotiation Decision MakingWriting Political and Cultural AwarenessPublic speaking Negotiation
Educators are recognizing the value ofproject management skills for themselves and their students • Most states include completion of a project as a requirement for graduating from high school, and are beginning to realize that students need some skills training. • Project-learning-based classrooms are beginning to yield positive results • Some states are offering project management training for teachers – North Carolina • 4 Course PM Program • Part of the SREB a 16 State Coalition – Washington • Proposing a Project Management Framework • Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Employers Value Project Management Skills• Project management is results-focused and employers want employees who can deliver results• Project management is one of the few fields delivering people who can lead work and others• Good project management includes 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation• Project management is a universal professional skill – virtually all occupations and industries use project management and benefit from employees with these skills
Project-Based Education and Project Management Training benefit youth• When students participate in a project team they learn and practice 21st century skills.• Students are more active and engaged in their learning• Students gain a deeper knowledge of subject is gained• Students have an opportunity to work on real problems• School attendance can be higher and standardized test scores can improve
The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation Can HelpWe are the Project Management Institute EducationalFoundation and can provide resources to help youimplement a project management program in your school orfor your teachers.We are a member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills,working as a collaborative partner with a “Who’s Who” inindustry, to position 21st Century readiness at the center ofUS K-12 education.We are a non-profit organization that brings the benefits andthe power of project management to local communities andto the farthest reaches of the world for social good.
Resources We Can Provide to ImplementProject Management for Youth Programs• Mentors• Curriculum• Scholarships• Grants• Career Resource Information and Presentations• Program Development and Implementation Guides• Networking and lessons learned from others who’ve developed similar programsThe PMIEF can provide resources for schools to use. We provide materials that can be downloaded at no cost for non commercial use.
MentorsMentors are a valuable resource forboth students and teachers. Manyproject management professionalsvolunteer in youth programs.
Curricula and Classroom Resources for Ages 6 - 18 PM Toolkit For Youth • Curricula • Guide to Leadership • Presentation Skills • Program Development Handbook • Power Point Presentation
ScholarshipsWe provide academic scholarshipsfor students and training scholarshipsfor teachers.
Grants for Primary and Secondary School ProgramsWe fund thedevelopment oftraining seminars forteachers, curriculumand classes forchildren in third worldcountries.
Careers in Project Managementis a career resource • Salary Information • Industry Career Examples • Career Paths
Project Management Skills for Life is aresource that can be used as a 4 – 8 hourintroduction for students Examples: • After School Programs or Clubs • Student Competitions Including Robotics and Future Cities • In Partnership with Youth-Based Organizations including Junior Achievement and Public Color
Project Management Toolkit for Youth Pilots At Various Stages Canada England Poland Belgium Seattle Chicago Italy Israel Philadelphia Kansas City Bahrain Mexico City IndiaSingapore Nigeria Brazil South Africa Sydney
For Resources, Contact: Diane Fromm Administrator, PMI Educational Foundation +1-610-356-4600 ext. 1128 Diane.Fromm@pmi.org www.pmief.org