To Engage Students and Teachers, Treat Core Subjects Like Extracurriculars


Leah Shaffer of KQED News takes a look at how project-based learning is helping students better grasp their core curriculum and demonstrate mastery of a subject.  Schools are taking a variety of different approaches, from having students create historical documentaries to courses focused on “Rockets and Roller Coasters” to performing field studies. As one principal noted, “We let the passion of the kids and the adults drive the course and we make the academic ties as they come along.” There’s other benefits for the students as well, in that project-based learning can allow students to develop a mastery at different paces, students get to work collaboratively, and they are engaged in projects that are more relevant to their everyday lives. Robbie Torney, a teacher at Lodestar Academy in Oakland said his students are learning core curriculum in a way that gets them highly engaged, but there’s an even bigger impact when students get to college or start their careers. “Those collaborative environments won’t be the first time that they’ve had to tackle a project in an interdisciplinary way,” he said. More evidence that with higher standards teachers and schools are using even more creative approaches

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