I have been focused recently on best practices in education and have been reflecting on some of the teachers and schools that have excelled. I remember about a decade ago when Edutopia described a teacher from Everett, Washington who was working with her students on architectural projects. This was shortly after NCLB came out, and rather than focusing on teaching to the test, this teacher continued to use a project-based approach and teach using methods of her choice. Her students scored very well – out performing students at most schools in Washington State. And they were able to study with architects, visit some of the sky scrapers in Seattle, and pursue learning as they defined the parameters for their projects.
With the Common Core Standards we have opportunities to deepen learning by working with students on projects of their choice ‘“ by helping students pursue learning.