We know we have work to do to address the problems that face American public education.
We’ve known this for nearly three decades, since the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983,3 which powerfully documented that the United States had lost the advantage it briefly held in the world in science, commerce, technology, and industry; that as custodians of the education of the young, we were failing; that without immediate, conscious, and focused effort, that failure would only compound itself; and that in countries all around the globe, students were being better prepared to take part in a rapidly flattening marketplace than our own students were.
No such immediate, conscious, and focused effort has taken place. Until now.
After two major studies involving 24 schools in three countries and 15 states, over 1,500 students, and 90 teachers, it is clear that challenge based learning (CBL) is one of the freshest ideas that has emerged over that time, with replicable, scalable results for students at nearly every grade level. The approach is consistent with standards-based curricula, and does not require a massive reinvention of schools, nor the kind of top-to-bottom overhaul that some say is needed. It is based on a simple but powerful idea — make learning relevant.
Johnson, L. & Brown, S. (2011). Challenge Based Learning: The Report from the Implementation Project. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
© 2011 The New Media Consortium
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Johnson, L. and Adams, S., (2011). Challenge Based Learning: The Report from the Implementation Project. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.