Project Based Learning at Stevenson
Project Based Learning (PBL) is a way for students to investigate a complex problem or question through integrated curriculum. The outcome of these multi-week projects will be a product that has gone through multiple revisions and is presented to an authentic audience.
Since inception, Stevenson PACT has embraced principles of PBL, and has integrated elements of PBL in teaching practice. A multi-year initiative was launched in 2013 to formalize PBL as a core part of our curriculum and to undertake extensive professional development for our teachers in this teaching practice.
Offsite Learning Experiences - Real World Learning
At Stevenson PACT we take Offsite Learning Experiences (OLE’s, or field trips) seriously. We believe that learning is most powerful when students have the opportunity to experience learning both inside the classroom, in our local communities, and in a real-world context. Each teacher designs an average of 10 OLE’s during the year, each one closely tied to grade level curriculum.
Arts Focus - Uniquely Stevenson PACT
Founded in PACT's second year, Arts Focus continues the school's focus on developing social relationships in a project-based learning environment. During Arts Focus sessions, students build relationships across age and social groups and learn the skills and habits of creative work.
Teachers and parents partner to present 15 classes that run for six, four-hour sessions on Thursdays twice a year. The classes incorporate hands-on study with a formal curriculum designed and presented by parents. Regular classes are dispersed and re-assembled, so that each course has an even number of students from each grade level. Volunteer parents partner with teachers to run each class. Each Arts Focus session concludes with a public exhibition at City Hall of student work from each class.
The enhanced arts curriculum is designed to:
- substantially increase the number of hours the children participate in creative exploration,
- expose them to a much greater variety of art media than what the schools are able to provide, and
- contribute enormously to the children's cognitive, academic, and social development. The goal of this program is for the children to experience all phases of the creative process, with emphasis on the free expression of ideas (rather than on simply creating facsimiles of pre-established end products).
Courses for 2016-17 are: ceramics, 3D, drawing and painting, kinetic art, paper, music on stage, physical theatre, photography, printmaking, animation, textiles - weaving and dyeing, textiles - sewing, materials exploration, global beat, and video.