At CRA, all subject areas and academic disciplines are integrated and interrelated to reflect a real-world learning context. Students will develop proficiency in the core subjects of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science while working to solve design challenges, problem-based projects and service learning projects. A rigorous academic curriculum based on real world projects and activities increases student achievement, improves retention of concepts and increases both student and
We believe a project-based approach to the curriculum is the best for teaching core academic and 21st century skills and gives the most opportunity for student success in life. Authentic learning, including design-based, problem-based and project-based challenges, provides students continuous opportunities to discover their passion and give them the ability and desire to explore real world processes and issues.
As students work to meet these authentic challenges, they will apply their knowledge from all academic
disciplines and build self-confidence as they negotiate some of the challenges of the real world in a
safe, nurturing learning environment. At CRA, teachers will collaborate to design and execute projects
that will develop students’ knowledge base and ability to solve problems, to foster critical thinking and
collaboration and to build confidence.
Research has proven that when students engage in effective project-based learning they demonstrate
improved academic achievement, positive attitudes towards learning and increased ability to use higher-
level cognitive skills. Moreover, research also indicates students involved in project-based learning
demonstrate increased focus on learning and mastery and motivation. Additionally, students of
all ability levels engaged in project-based learning demonstrated improved scores on standardized
assessments and other performance assessments. PBL learning enhances the quality of subject matter
knowledge gained by students and increases capacity for higher order cognitive skills such as problem
solving and critical thinking. The research also suggests great potential for enabling students to
build core academic knowledge and skills as well as the capacity to use their knowledge to meet the
challenges they will face throughout their lives.
1 Blumenfeld, P.C., et al. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational Psychologist. (p. 369-398).
2 Barron, B., et al. (1998). Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem- and project-based learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences. (p. 271-311).
3 Thomas, John. (2000). A Review of Research on Project-Based Learning. The Autodesk Foundation. (p. 35).