Project-Based Learning

Downtown High School’s

Core Tenets of Project-Based Curriculum

1. Integration

a. The central theme of the project allows for interdisciplinary curriculum.

b. The project integrates instruction in multiple subject areas.

c. Teachers work collaboratively in teams to integrate the subject matter delivered in each classroom.

2. Challenging Academics

a. Curriculum is accessible to all students.

b. Students at all skill levels are challenged to improve and develop their academic skill set.

c. Content and performance standards are addressed through the project curriculum.

3. Real World Focus

a. The project’s theme and product are meaningful to students.

b. Students see the content of the project connected to the “real world”—in the community or at work.

c. Students communicate with one another and work collaboratively in diverse teams.

d. Students have access to at least one adult outside of the classroom with expertise and experience relevant to their project, who can address questions, provide feedback, and offer a sense of real-world standards for the type of work arising from the project.

4. Experiential Study

a. Field-based activities are integrated into learning experiences.

b. Students participate in engaging hands-on activities.

c. Students develop ownership of their final products and project curriculum by taking responsibility for contributing during the process.

5. Applied Learning

a. Students apply the knowledge they are learning to the ongoing creation of a related product.

b. Students present what they have learned and exhibit what they have created in a public forum.

c. The project offers students opportunities to develop meaningful skills that can be used outside of the classroom.

6. Authentic Assessment

a. Students are assessed with a variety of methods based on their individual skill levels.

b. Students receive ongoing feedback on work in progress from teachers, mentors and peers.

c. Specific criteria are established for measuring student growth in mastering the knowledge and applied learning goals of the project.

d. Students are involved in reviewing and/or helping to establish project criteria, and participate in related self-assessment.