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  • What is Project Based Learning?

    In the 21st Century workplace and college, success requires more than basic knowledge of skills and content.  When HR departments from industry, academia, and government are asked to describe the "ideal candidate" coming out of a K-12 system, their responses are remarkably similar year after year:
    • Problem Solver
    • Responsible
    • Works Well With Others
    • Can Work Independently
    • Critical Thinker
    • Confident
    • Manages Time and Resources Effectively
    • Communicates Well With a Variety of People

     Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to authentic, engaging and complex questions, problems or challenges.  With PBL students learn how to take initiative and responsibility, build their confidence, solve problems, work in teams, communicate ideas, and manage themselves more effectively.  By bringing authentic expectations and experiences into the classroom students develop the skills they will need through direct practice and application. 
    In a PBL setting, school is the real world. 

    At Cheltenham, we use Stanford University d.school's design thinking model, developed to ensure that creativity and innovation flourish, as our guide and template when having students grapple with authentic challenges.  Through generous financial support from the Avalon Foundation, a philanthropic organization passionately dedicated to the advancement of PBL, Cheltenham has been able to partner with the world's premier PBL school, High Tech High, and a local Philadelphia PBL school, The Workshop School to support our teachers in their professional learning experiences. 
    For the 2017-2018 school year, we have opened with a full cohort of 9th grade students engaged with PBL throughout half of their school day.  This cohort of students spends the first four periods of the day in a newly renovated space; made ideal for the needs of PBL with flexible classrooms and needed tooling such as 3D and laser printers, wood working tools, and a CNC router.  Their teachers were embedded with expert PBL practitioners during a weeklong stay at High Tech High in San Diego, followed by an exhaustive amount of additional professional learning time dedicated throughout the 2016-2017 school year, summer of 2017 and ongoing throughout the current school year.  For 2018-2019, 7th grade and 10th grade will each add a new cohort to be followed by 8th grade and 11th grade cohorts in 2019-2020.   



Further Resources

Leadership Team

Charlene Collins
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Humanities
Matthew Pimental
Supervisor of Professional Learning and K-12 Gifted Education
Dr. Brian Reilly
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, STEM

PBL Teachers

Debra Dibattista
Science PBL 7
Erin Gilbert
Special Education PBL 7
Isaac Stanford
Social Studies PBL 7
Kristyn Sanborn
English PBL 7
Omar Rose
Mathematics PBL 7
Andre Clarke
Science PBL 8
Tiffany Lee
Special Education PBL 8
Jeff Hopkins
Social Studies PBL 8
Cheree Atwood
English PBL 8
Andrea Anderson
Mathematics PBL 8
Johanna Cella
Biology PBL 9
Mike Kwas
Social Studies PBL 9
Maria Canela
English PBL 9
Linsa Sunny
Chemistry PBL 10
Jerome Lowery
Socials Studies PBL 10
Mark Hoff
Social Studies PBL 11
Avril Somerville
English PBL 11
Karen Shaffran
Environmental Science PBL 11
Jessica Louie
Social Studies PBL 12
Patrick Fleury
Special Education PBL 9-12