Blog - CRA Blog

CRA Parents Get Up Close With Project Based Learning

December 14, 2017

CRA parents joined us on Tuesday December 12 for a lively and thoughtful discussion of the practices suggested by educator and author Ron Berger in his book An Ethic of Excellence that underpin our culture of excellence and form the foundation of our project-based learning (PBL) philosophy. In brief, these pedagogical practices include assigning work that matters; studying examples of excellence; building a culture of critique; requiring multiple revisions; and providing opportunities for public presentation. During the session, parents were asked to read and reflect on several key passages of the book that center on an ethic of culture. As Berger observes, “The key to excellence is this; It is born from a culture.” As students enter CRA, they enter a culture with a powerful ethic that is at the heart of our school. Together, we foster a culture where it’s safe and cool for students to raise their hands in class, do their homework, and care openly about their school.We viewed examples of several CRA PBL projects that illuminate these critical practices and demonstrate how we are putting them into action for the benefit of our scholars. Among these, the Kinder City project that tasked our youngest scholars to build a city; an Ancient Egypt project that fascinated students with tombs, clay tablets, and the process of excavations; and a project that used modern Radio Frequency Interference technology to demonstrate how the 12th century scourge of the bubonic plague spread from one victim to another. At its core, CRA’s philosophy is about creating a culture where our students through meaningful experiences come to see the connections between their formal education and the world.