Friday, 24 February 2012

Adria Steinberg’s 6 A’s of project-based learning!

We need to look more seriously at project-based learning which has been used to achieve some fantastic outcomes by High Tech High and further developed here by Learning Futures in some of their amazing programmes. As Adria Steinberg puts it "Project-based Learning provides us with the opportunity to connect with young people's interests and passions in a way that is authentic, academic, rigorous, applied and active."

It also provides an opportunity to connect with partners, communities and businesses to look at real issues and solutions with alternative methods of critical review and assessment. Adria Steinberg's 6 A's provide a helpful checklist for anyone starting out with project-based learning.

· Projects should:
o Use a real world context
o Emanate from a problem that has meaning to students
o Result in a product or performance that has personal and/or social value

Academic Rigour
· Projects should:
o Address key learning standards
o Pose essential question(s) of relevance to the student
o Span multiple disciplines and subject areas
o Develop habits of mind and work associated with academic and professional disciplines

Applied Learning
· Projects should:
o Engage students in solving semi-structured problems
o Call for competencies expected in high-performance organisations and the world of work
o Require students to develop organisational and self-management skills.

Active Exploration
· Projects should:
o Extend beyond the classroom
o Connect to field-based investigations, community explorations, and work internships
o Require real investigations using a variety of methods, media, and sources.

Adult Relationships
· Projects should:
o Connect students with adult mentors and coaches from the wider community
o Expose students to adults with relevant expertise
o Engage adults in the design and assessment of student projects

· Projects should:
o Provide milestones/checkpoints
o Involve lots of reflection for students and teachers
o Result in exhibitions and performances
o Be grounded in personal, school, and real-world standards of performance."

If you want to find out more about this approach visit the High Tech High website at or the Learning Futures website at

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