What One School is Doing to Leverage PBL

“Even when scores on state tests were improving, student outcomes were not. Kids were still dropping out of college. How could we disrupt this?”

- Tony Donen, Principal of STEM School Chattanooga

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For the past several months, the Educator Networks has focused on project-based learning and the promises it holds for helping students develop key cross-sector, career readiness competencies for the 21st century. By connecting with schools and educators across the globe and drawing on best practices and existing research, we've developed several resources to support schools and districts leveraging PBL to improve student outcomes. These include a multi-media white paper, a short video, and a profile of a cutting-edge school in South Korea.

This month, we explore how STEM School Chattanooga in Tennessee has established itself as a model for improving career readiness through a project- and problem-based learning curriculum, leveraging the Gold Standard for PBL design across content areas and grades 9-12. This includes defining career-ready, cross-sector competencies schoolwide, ensuring that student learning of these and academic standards is at the center, and providing special emphasis on engaging student voice and choice and engaging community and industry partners in designing projects that are authentic to the world of work.

In this school profile, we dive into how STEM School Chattanooga keeps its goal for project-based learning: an industry-aligned model that intentionally develops agreed to cross-sector competencies critical for career and life success schoolwide.

STEM School Chattanooga is one of our network schools, and leaders from the school have presented at America Achieves convenings as well as hosted our team, other Global Learning Network schools, and Educator Voice Fellows to learn about the school. We are grateful for the ongoing partnership and excited to share some of the things we've learned from this innovative school.

Questions or comments? Additional resources or ideas to share? Connect with us on Twitter at @AAEdNetworks or contact us via this form.


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