Project Based Learning
SCSD’s Strategic Plan places an emphasis on Project-Based Learning (PBL) where students learn by engaging in rigorous projects (usually in teams) that are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century skills (the 5 Cs), and create high-quality, authentic products and presentations. This project-based, technology-infused approach to teaching and learning features real-world, meaningful design challenges and is infused throughout the whole curriculum (often cutting across traditional subject areas). Through PBL, students learn problem solving, collaboration, critical-thinking skills, and time management skills. Most importantly, students are often the catalysts for project ideas and design, thus promoting greater student engagement and “ownership” of their own learning. In support of the classroom curriculum, SCSD has enlisted the PBLWorks to deliver professional development support to prepare teachers to design and orchestrate PBL projects that incorporate Common Core State Standards and technology-infused 21st Century learning skills. SCSD offers some specific PBL programs outside of the daily curriculum. See examples listed to the right.
Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience and students learn naturally outside of the classroom walls. Learning is achieved through doing and it can sometimes be defined as hands-on learning, but does not necessarily always involve students producing with hands! For example, experiential learning can occur while on the school's Green Team. Students learn by active experimentation and observation to conceptualize a program on how to recycle, reuse, and repurpose waste to help their school and local communities. This information is learned not simply from text, but from experience.
In SCSD, we offer a selection of experiential activities that allow all students the opportunity to tap into 'passion projects' such as ROPES or applying their analytical or creative skills through the annual science and STEM Fair project(s). See the column to the right for information.