Tuesday, 18 June 2013


It is increasingly clear that we need to re-engineer the curriculum to connect with young people's interests and passions in a way that is authentic, academic, rigorous, applied and active. Project-based or enquiry-based learning provides us with a way of doing this.
And Adria Steinberg's 6 A's provides a helpful checklist for anyone starting out with project-based learning. The 6A's are Authenticity, Academic Rigour, Applied Learning, Active Exploration, Adult Relationships and Assessment which lie at the heart of the work they are doing at High Tech High in San Diego, California.

Projects should:
  • Use a real world context 
  • Emanate from a problem that has meaning to students 
  • Result in a product or performance that has personal and/or social value 
Academic Rigour
Projects should:
  • Address key learning standards 
  • Pose essential question(s) of relevance to the student 
  • Span multiple disciplines and subject areas 
  • Develop habits of mind and work associated with academic and professional disciplines 
Applied Learning
Projects should:
  • Engage students in solving semi-structured problems 
  • Call for competencies expected in high-performance organisations and the world of work
  • Require students to develop organisational and self-management skills. 
Active Exploration
Projects should:
  • Extend beyond the classroom 
  • Connect to field-based investigations, community explorations, and work internships 
  • Require real investigations using a variety of methods, media, and sources. 
Adult Relationships
Projects should:
  • Connect students with adult mentors and coaches from the wider community 
  • Expose students to adults with relevant expertise 
  • Engage adults in the design and assessment of student projects 
Projects should:
  • Provide milestones/checkpoints 
  • Involve lots of reflection for students and teachers 
  • Result in exhibitions and performances 
  • 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 atwww.hightechhigh.org/.

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