Strategies for Engaging Students in PM Education

Lori Hairston

In the 21st century classroom, students must learn not only academic skills, but skills to manage time, money, responsibilities and other resources. As educators and advisors, we deliver curriculum and life lessons while facing the challenge of engaging students in course work. I believe teaching project management skills is an important step in preparing students to be college and career ready.

Unfortunately, project management education is not integrated into the elementary and secondary educational system in the United States like it is in other parts of the world. I was a teacher in the Pacific Northwest for 21 years before taking the position of Executive Director for Washington DECA. Because of my belief in the need for project management education in schools, I pursued professional development and resources to provide high school students and DECA members with project management skills.

Finding the time was difficult in an already hectic day of teaching, serving as the advisor for DECA and participating in many committees. Thankfully, I found the resources available through the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF). The Project Management Toolkit for Teachers® and other resources on the website provided the guidance I needed to teach project management.

The students and I learned project management simultaneously; I taught myself …

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