This EWA story on a project-based charter school in DC has every trope you can imagine about “traditional” (as in doesn’t work) and the shiny new thing called Project Based Learning.
“When students and teachers are engaged in work that is challenging, adventurous and meaningful, learning and achievement flourish.”
You mean like the Jamestown expedition, a recurring feature at Two Rivers? A visit to the Virginia historical site was a “memorable experience” for 9-year-old Evan Bowie. She even wrote about it:
“We got to spend the night,” Bowie told the Post. “We got to go on ships, and I got to hold a sword and a shield and put on armor.”
In all fairness, this article quotes heavily from a previously published story that appeared in the Washington Post, in 2015. I guess EWA writers are too busy to be bothered doing original work.
Wait, there’s more:
“Last year, Two Rivers was awarded a grant under the Assessment for Learning project to work with a center at Stanford University on developing new ways to assess students. (That project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which both have provided grant funding to EWA.) “We’ve been working on developing assessments of critical thinking and problem-solving,” said Maggie Bello, the chief academic officer at Two Rivers. “They’re performance tasks.”
Of course they’re performance tasks. What else would they be with funding from Gates and the Hewlett Foundation?
And then of course, there’s this:
Also, seventh-graders at Two Rivers participate in what’s called the “passage portfolio,” which they must successfully complete before advancing to eighth grade. Students present an electronic portfolio of their work to a panel of Two Rivers educators and then respond to questions about it. In addition, there is an “about me” section, where students discuss their strengths, areas that need development, and where they need to grow over time. “It’s kind of like a master’s defense,” Bello said. “You’re defending your education at Two Rivers and you have to pass. And if you don’t pass, you have to redo it. It’s high stakes. And so that builds character and perseverance, growth mindset.”
That’s as far as I got. See how you do.