HONOLULU – Cathedral Catholic Academy will be the first Project Based Catholic School in Hawaii beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
Project Based Learning is student centered learning that is hands on, experiential learning through authentic classroom projects. Project Based Learning (PBL) challenges students with in-depth, open-ended questions designed to promote inquiry-based problem solving and critical thinking skills.
In a Project Based Learning environment, students go beyond traditional textbooks and worksheets to a more exploratory learning model that is student-centered and based on personal experience. Students in a PBL environment learn by doing and have ownership of their learning.
Core standards are embedded in all projects which are digitally and manually assessed. In the CCA Project Based Learning model, parents will be actively engaged in the curriculum by offering learning experiences and projects that are based on real-world applications based on their professional experiences.
For example, a restaurant owner may offer their expertise on how food is prepared, selected, priced, cooked and served. A culminating project might include students managing the restaurant for a special meal for their families, demonstrating all their learning of Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Music and the Arts.
What is Blended Learning?
The Blended learning model is still maintained in the school building, five days a week, during the traditional hours of instruction from 8:00 a.m – 2:30 p.m. The learning is BLENDED between face to faceinstruction and projects and online programs. The blended learning model is designed to maximize student engagement and heighten the
level of student control over pace and content. Students have much more freedom to move at their own pace in the blended model and the
instructor/facilitator guides the progress through various assessments and frequent monitoring and conferencing.
What is Project Based Learning?
Students are engaged in the learning process through the use of conceptually based projects. The content of the project is often chosen by the student which increases the level of student engagement.
The instructor/facilitator instructs students around specific skill sets that students then apply to their learning and in completing their projects. Projects are often collaborative in design and generally last from 4-8 weeks.
In the CCA Project Based Learning model, parents become more actively involved in the curriculum by offering learning experiences and projects based on real-world applications based on their professional experiences. For example, a restaurant owner may offer their expertise on how food is prepared, selected, priced, cooked and
served. A culminating project might include students managing the restaurant for a special meal for their families, demonstrating all
their learning of Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Music and the Arts.
What will likely change?
The Project Based learning environment will look a bit different.
Here are some of the possible unique differences that may occur:
• Fewer instructor/facilitators (the role of the traditional teacher has changed significantly)
• More hands-on learning.
• More learning trips both on/off campus.
• More collaborative work with students of various ages and other schools.
• More professional collaborations with parents and with community organizations.
• Possible Multi-age classrooms (K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 or 7-8) to better facilitate learning.
• Digital Curriculum and on-line assessments
• Parents have access to digital progress of the child daily in addition to traditional report cards.
• NO TEXTBOOKS (except Religion & Wordly Wise)
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