By Beth Hawkins, MINNPOST
Excerpt: Project-based learning
A small number of schools take another approach, long known as project-based learning. With the help of a teacher, a student designs a project that showcases his or her individual research. To these options, Venture adds a couple of ingredients: teacher/coaches who help students think through their options for completing each particular lesson; and a ton of technology, so students may have access to self-guided digital curriculum such as Kahn Academy and Achieve 2000.
Handed the keys to the Internet, students’ first response is typically to spend their time gaming. Allowed to reach the end of the school week without completing the work expected of them, however, most quickly learn to manage their time. Many speed ahead. “In math, our kids are all over the map,” said Muse. “Some kids have gone through the entire digital content and we’re having to look for more. Some are still working on the third grade level.”