The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the authors.
Published here November 2020.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary


In this review, we admit that we have rather focused on the Learning Guide for Project Managers, rather than on the Learning Guide for Educators. In this we ask for forgiveness because project management is much more within our comfort zone and, in any case, this is being written for a project management web site. Having said that, we are nevertheless just as enthusiastic about this latter part of the publication.

Nevertheless, we have also read it critically from the perspective of an "outsider". For example, in an introduction titled "Educator Author Page", author Bernie Trilling reported in part:[7

"Around 2005 I had the good fortune to meet Jim Snyder, one of the inspirational founders of the Project Management Institute ... he saw ever so clearly that unless project approaches were cultivated early in schools, both the future pipeline into the project management profession, and the skills increasingly required for success in future learning, work and life, would be sadly lacking.

"Back then project based learning (PBL) was just starting to catch on in a big way in education ... But there was one catch — for PBL to adopt project management methods, a 'translation' of technical business-based project management language and concepts was needed before all that expertise and those deep treasure troves of hard-earned project wisdom could be adopted for use in classrooms and schools."

Bernie Trilling then goes on to describe how this challenge was being met with the support of PMI's Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and their extraordinarily supportive staff and the formation of a Project Learning Partnership.[8] However, apparently it was several years later before the objectives really took off. The rest of the description describes how the work of PMIEF has developed since then.

This description, together with the next article Educator Introduction, which introduces The Five Ps of Project Management for Education,[9] strikes us as distinctly US centric, with optimistic statements based on US‑sourced experience. For example, we might question the statement: "These essential 21st century skills and mindsets are rapidly rising to the top of many nations' lists of priority education goals for all students."[10] Or again, the statement that "Projects have become a basic unit of work and life in the 21st century"[11] seems to be highly optimistic — even three years after this book was first published.

Fortunately, the rest of the Learning Guide for Educators is much more down to earth when it comes to advice on implementing what the book recommends.

What We Liked  What We Liked

7. Learning Guide for Educators: Educator Preface, p xiii
8. Ibid, p xiii
9. Ibid, pp xviii — p xx. For those who may not know, The Five Ps of Project Management for Education are: People, Process Performance, Products and (Learning) Progress. Each of these 5P categories are explained by bullet lists of very lofty goals and readers are told to expect to see these explored in greater detail in the reset of the book.
10. Ibid, p xvii. It would be nice to see this statement substantiated.
11. Ibid, p1
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