At George Hall School we use a Project-Based Learning approach to accelerate learning. We have high expectations for all students and we share the commitment of every student meeting or exceeding the California State Standards. Staff, students, and families work collaboratively to reach this goal, and our school and community resources are allocated to support this effort.
What is Project-Based Learning?
Project-based Learning is the use of classroom projects, intended to bring about deep learning, where student’s use of technology and inquiry to engage with issues and questions that relevant to their lives. Student learning is then assessed using rubrics through their projects. Projects can be focused on one topic and completed in two - four weeks or teachers can use an inquiry cycle of learning every day in the classroom that focuses on starting with a questions, challenge or phenomenon, time to explore, collaborate and interact with peers, revision, revise, reflect and share.
Characteristics of a High-quality Project
- Based upon personally meaningful, real-world situations
- Engaging and relevant to the learners
- Based upon complex and challenging questions
- Related to a field of study
- Requires students to apply knowledge and skills
- Applies creative and critical thinking skills
- Allows students to interact with each other
- Allows students to make choices about the project topic, or questions, or work products
- Helps students develop and use research and investigation skills
- Goes beyond the surface, usually lasting over a period of time
- Across content areas
- Is exhibited to real audience (more than just the teacher)
Powerful Learning Components
Students learn through real-life situations and issues that are derived from their interests, culture and life experiences. They demonstrate and exhibit their learning through genuine products and performances.
Students have daily opportunities to interact and collaborate with others both in and outside the classroom during the learning process. They work together toward a common purpose and share their knowledge and expertise with others while still being accountable for their own learning.
Students are empowered to make choices in their learning. Their experiences, interests, and strengths help shape the direction and content of the lessons. Student work products, displays and exhibits show originality, creativity and higher-order thinking
Students are given opportunities to build on prior knowledge and see connections between various subjects and contexts. Throughout the school, there is spiraling curriculum from one year to the next in order to deepen the levels of student thinking.
With high expectations for all, instructional content, process, and products are differentiated to meet individual needs, interests and strengths in order to accelerate learning for every student. Each learner participates in enriched and challenging experiences.