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ERIC Number: EJ775814
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep-19
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
No Easy Project
Keller, Bess
Education Week, v27 n4 p21-23 Sep 2007
Feeling stifled at his old school, Timothy S. Cagwin, a 39-year-old English teacher, was particularly attracted to a new schools' plans to focus on "project-based learning," a pedagogical approach high on the list of high-school-reform ideas championed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other like-minded philanthropies, academics, and critics of the status quo. Like school leaders elsewhere amid the ongoing national push to improve U.S. high schools, those at the new community of schools believed that the approach would rally both teachers and students to work toward new, higher levels of learning. Yet at Mr. Cagwin's new school and the four others formed from the restructuring of the 1,900-student Olympic High School (Charlotte, North Carolina), the hoped-for change in teaching did not get off to a fast start. As a result, last spring and for a week in August, teachers from each of the five schools--part of the 132,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district--gathered with an outside coach to recharge their commitment and draw up learning blueprints for the new school year. That such reinforcement was needed comes as no surprise to experts in project-based learning. Given that textbooks or guides that lay out day-by-day lessons tend to rule in the standard classroom, making a success of project-based learning typically requires teachers to embrace new attitudes, hone new skills, and risk failure, said Michael Simkins, a former principal and teacher in California who has led project-based learning workshops for years.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A