How We Teach

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of Samueli Academy’s instructional approach. In PBL, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging real-life questions or solve complex problems. Making learning relevant to students in this way, helps them see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts. Students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, project-based learning gives students the opportunity to develop real-life skills that will propel them towards future college and career success.

What does Project-Based Learning look like at Samueli Academy?

Samueli Academy is a “New Tech Network” project-based learning school. Please view this video from another “New Tech Network” school to see what project-based learning looks like at Samueli Academy.

All students are given a laptop to use while at Samueli Academy. These computers are used in all classes on a daily basis utilizing many exciting software programs including ECHO. Teachers, students, and parents at Samueli Academy use ECHO on a daily basis to access course resources, project plans, assignments, a multi-dimensional grade book, online groups, and much more.

Why use Project-Based Learning?

With project-based learning students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. Projects also build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. PBL motivates students who might otherwise find school boring or meaningless.

Along with the mastery of content standards, project-based-learning
reinforces 21st century job skills such as:
  • Written Communication
  • Content Literacy
  • Oral Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Work Ethic
  • Critical Thinking

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