Why Project-based learning?
Project Based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach through which our students inquire into a real world problem they wish to solve. We believe the best projects are not conducted in the confines of a classroom or a search engine results page. Rather, at Ivy, we encourage students to connect with their surroundings to draw on solutions. PBL empowers students to explore and question their environment, discover answers, and present possible solutions.
A single project under this method is highly interdisciplinary as it spans a variety of traditional academic subject areas. In a given project at Ivy, students may work on mathematics side-by-side with art and entrepreneurship. They may prototype and build and follow several lines of inquiry before they reach the right one. This teaches them invaluable life skills that they may implement in all stages of life: curiosity, teamwork, critical thinking, project management, documentation, and sustained inquiry.
Through group work and individual passion projects, our curriculum is designed to unleash student potential to learn and apply knowledge, to pursue and refine their talents. Our students are nurtured into the lifelong learners they will need to be for success in the 21st century. Their education at Ivy builds their sense of agency, intention, and drive to pursue what they are most passionate about and this in turn leads them to fuel change as they grow up into contributing members of society.
A project at Ivy may fall under one of two categories: Service Learning Projects where students give back to community or Public Products where students create a product that is consumable by anyone.
The Project Arc
As an engagement-driven school we provide students with the real tools and experiences they need to facilitate their learning and foster their development as contributors to society. We focus on process over product to help our learners think critically, exercise agency, contribute positively and learn from their failures and successes.
Exploration aims to inspire a sense of wonder in learners. Students are encouraged to ask questions like “why do I need to learn about something?” or “what does it mean?” about a variety of topics. Teachers facilitate students by planning field trips, promoting inquiry, and organising conversations with subject experts, so they have access to the best information. Central to Exploration are the group discussions that encourage learners to ask thought-provoking questions, and lead to important project work skills such as collaboration and project management.
In the second phase of the arc, Creation, student build on what they learned in the Exploration phase by creating a project, structure, art, object, or performance centred around whatever aspect of the topic has caught their attention. During Creation, students use a range of tools, analyse data they have collected, create models and come up with creative ideas that lead to innovative solutions and answers. This is where their projects take shape and they learn important skills such as documentation, planning and production.
In the final phased of the arc, Expression, students share their learnings with the world. Expressing their ideas or findings gives students a better understanding of their topics. This expression can be either service learning or a public product. It can take the shape of showcases, books, declamations, and even art and performance, which include songs, poems and dramas as well as drawings and scientific sketches. This phase enables students to gain confidence in both themselves and their learnings and provides them with essential communication skills.