Today, Edutopia.org released a new video featuring one of OII’s i3 grantees — Bellevue School District’s Sammamish High School in Washington state. The video documents the transformation from the school’s use of traditional curriculum to problem-based learning. The district was awarded an i3 Development grant in 2010 for the development and implementation of a scalable, sustainable, 21st-century, skills-based program. This type of learning allows teachers to facilitate conversations and provide more effective classroom instruction; it also allows students to take more ownership in the learning process — how they connect to and learn the material, and how they put new knowledge into practice.
When i3 program officer Holly Clark visited Sammamish High School in May of 2011, just eight months into the grant, the students’ enthusiasm for the new approach was already evident. What’s more, their comprehension of subject matter and ability to explain their work was readily apparent. And the excitement was not limited to the students. Teachers at Sammamish were also enthusiastic because of increased levels of student engagement and the high quality of conversations occurring in their classrooms. To date, more than 20 classes are now using problem-based learning and, by the end of the grant, 35 classes will use the curriculum.
Edutopia™ is a part of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. They collaborated with the Bellevue School District in the implementation of its i3 grant.