Teachers at Sammamish High in Washington share their difficulties and triumphs as their school moves from traditional delivery of instruction to schoolwide problem-based learning. More about this school.
Through a project called Knowledge in Action, researchers at the University of Washington have been exploring whether project-based learning can help high school students with diverse learning styles understand content more deeply in advanced placement courses.
Teachers brought in outside clients to request and evaluate student aquaponics designs, which sent a message that student thinking and creativity were valued by the extended school community. Photo credit: Bill Palmer
In last week's post, my colleague Adrienne Curtis Dickinson introduced seven key elements of problem-based learning at Sammamish High School. These key elements guide both the professional learning experiences for Sammamish staff and the ongoing PBL curriculum design. This week is our chance to share the variety of ways that the key element of student voice has been incorporated into teaching and learning.
After being awarded an Investing in Innovation (I3) grant from the Department of Education, Sammamish High School, a public school near Seattle, is transforming from traditional delivery of instruction to a completely problem-based learning curriculum. Keep up to date with Edutopia's coverage as we follow along the five-year process.
Students at Sammamish High School. Photo credit: Gabriel Miller
Sammamish High School is a comprehensive high school that is on the cutting edge of public education. Like many schools, we serve a diverse student body, with 45% of our students receiving free and reduced lunch support. We also serve a high percentage of special education students relative to other district schools, and currently house the district-wide program for beginning and intermediate English language learners. We have had good success with college matriculation rates, but as a community, we saw an opportunity to better serve our students and foster in them the skills and habits of mind that will make them competitive in the new economy. Along the way, we are challenging ourselves to re-imagine how school can better serve students through collaboration, authentic problem solving, and opening windows between the disciplines of school and the broader community.
Sammamish High School is in the midst of a five-year process to change from traditional teaching to an entirely problem-based curriculum. Follow the journey of the teachers, administrators, and students as they reinvent their school. Read more about this school.