A TRANSFORMATIVE SCHOOL MODEL THAT EMPOWERS STUDENTS TO LEARN BY DOING, LEARN BY ASKING QUESTIONS, AND LEARN WITH OTHERS
"During the past decade, while much of our educational system has been wringing its hands about the policies and politics of our schools, Bob Lenz and his colleagues, Justin Wells and Sally Kingston, have been rolling up their sleeves and courageously reinventing high schools for urban youth. The result is Transforming Schools, which practices what it preaches about deeper learning. . . . This book helps all of us ′envision′ a brighter future for our students through the power of project–based learning and performance assessments."
Milton Chen, Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Emeritus, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
The world is changing and our schools are not keeping up. In Transforming Schools Using Project–Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards, Bob Lenz, Justin Wells, and Sally Kingston draw on the example of the nationally recognized Envision Education schools, as well as other leading schools around the country, to demonstrate how deeper learning can prepare students for college and career by engaging them in their own education.
Throughout the book, the authors explain how project–based learning can blend with Common Core–aligned performance assessment to create an environment that encourages deeper learning. They examine how many exemplary schools have successfully made the transition from traditional, teacher–centered learning to project–based, deeper learning. Filled with practical ideas and proven strategies, the text includes illustrative examples for implementing this educational model. Transforming Schools includes:
- A companion DVD and website with videos showing how to put in place deeper learning strategies in the classroom
- Evidence–based descriptions that reveal why deeper learning is right for students
- Information from performance assessment experts who explain how to align assessments with Common Core by shifting the emphasis from knowing to doing
- An extensive game plan section with step–by–step guidance for change
Schools are complex organizations, and transformation involves all of the stakeholders, from students to superintendents. But as the authors reveal, there are amazing benefits to be realized when everyone commits to diving deeper into learning.
About the Authors xv
Foreword by TonyWagner xvii
Introduction: Why Learning Must Go Deeper 1
Breadth versus depth it s an old struggle. Stop struggling. Go with depth. It s the only way to engage students in the present and to prepare them for their futures.
1 Transforming the Graduate 19
Everything maps backward from a redefinition of what it means to graduate from high school. Know, do, reflect: our unified theory.
2 Designing a Standards–Aligned Performance Assessment System 41
A school that is dedicated to deeper learning is a school that has established a coherent, schoolwide, standards–aligned performance assessment system. We explain what this means, why it s vital, and how to work toward this challenging but transformative goal.
3 Project–Based Learning It s the How (and the Why) 65
Learning is deepest when it culminates in an act of creation. As we walk through an example project, we show how PBL is the most effective and efficient means to our ends: preparing students for rigorous performance assessments, meeting state standards, and, most important, making learning matter to students.
4 Transforming School Culture 101
Transforming the lives of students requires a culture that believes it s possible. We describe how to nurture a culture for deeper learning.
5 Transforming School Systems 123
Without supporting structures, a school s mission is talk without action. We outline the school structures that sustain deeper learning, including advisory, project–based scheduling, common planning time, community meetings, student internships, and grading.
6 Leadership for Deeper Learning 147
As stewards of the school s mission, leaders must ensure integrity and consistency through all the layers of the organization. Here we offer philosophical and practical advice on how to lead a school through
7 A Call to Action 161
A movement is a small step taken by many people. Here are three ways to take a first step toward deeper learning.
Appendix: SupplementaryMaterial 173
Bob Lenz is cofounder and Chief of Innovation of Envision Education, which includes Envision Schools, and Envision Learning Partners.
Justin Wells is a founding English teacher of Envision Schools.
Sally Kingston, PhD, is the Senior Education Analyst at Applied Engineering Management Corporation.