Project-based learning (PBL) is built on the idea that there are better ways for some students to learn and grow. The focus of PBL is to help shape students into self-reliant learners with a mastery of 21st Century skills. By helping our students learn how to learn and focus on what interests them, many are able to produce projects of quality above and beyond what is typically expected in a secondary school curriculum. We have found that the key to success isn’t based on how much a student can memorize, but rather if they are able to set reasonable goals, create a plan to meet those goals, and then follow through on that plan. In a world where the jobs available post-graduation may not even exist today, this is an immensely valuable ability.
“The thing I liked about DREAM that I experienced is we can literally find anything we want to talk about or want to know about into a project.”
“My project focuses on hate and discrimination, how people are affected by it and how they live in spite of it.”
Students interested in starting at DREAM Technical Academy do not have to have experience with PBL. Each student is part of an advisory of 14-20 students that is guided by an Advisor. The role of the Advisor is to aid the students in the PBL process. By developing strong relationships with each individual student, the Advisor is able to individualize this process. Instead of comparing the students to a number, students are awarded credit (no grades!) based on their ability level, the quality of the project, and the amount of time spent on a project. DREAM’s vision is to provide a project-based learning experience built on relationships, where student passions and interests drive learning toward becoming flexible problem solvers, effective leaders, and responsible citizens.
“It is a three part project. My first part was researching Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers. My second part was writing my own musical and my third was a presentation on how musicals are political.”