John is editor in chief at PBLWorks, having also served as director of product development and associate director since joining the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) in 2001.
John writes or edits much of PBLWorks' written material, including PBL resources, the PBLWorks blog, other website content, and articles for outside publications. He has contributed to the creation of PBLWorks' professional development services and PBL materials, including the PBL 101 workshop and rubrics for 21st century success skills. He co-authored and edited BIE’s project-based curriculum units for high school government and economics. John contributed to the Project Based Learning Handbook (2003), and co-authored and edited the books in BIE's PBL Toolkit Series: PBL Starter Kit (2009), PBL in the Elementary Grades (2011), and PBL for 21st Century Success (2013). In 2015 he co-authored the best-selling ASCD book Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning, and in 2018 contributed to Project Based Teaching, chosen as an ASCD Member Book. John has also consulted on PBL curriculum development for the National Academy Foundation, the Oracle Education Foundation, and Pearson Education.
Prior to joining the Buck Institute for Education, John was a senior program associate at WestEd, where he was a consultant to middle schools and high schools in the use of standards and assessments. For ten years John taught high school social studies and English. He co-founded a restructured small high school, and was a school coach for the Coalition of Essential Schools and a member of its National School Reform Faculty. He is passionate about the need to change our education system to make school more engaging and meaningful for students, and more rewarding for teachers.
John received M.A. degrees in educational technology and in educational administration from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in political science from Stanford University. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, cooking, rock concerts, reading about politics, and backpacking in the High Sierra.