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Project-based learning done right

Parkside Elementary school’s “The Compass” program uses project-based learning to get students interested in their education

project-based-learning-Parkside-CompassTwo years ago, Kyle was a bored kindergartener at Parkside Elementary school in Coral Springs, Fla. “He wasn’t being challenged enough,” said his mother, Chris Beck.

Then she found out about The Compass, a program created by Parkside teachers Randy Bitton and Sheree Schulson in 2012, which involves project-based learning. Just recently, Compass students paraded around the school parking lot with homemade floats representing different states.

They have also participated in a mock medical conference, built mosaic benches for their garden, and created a sustainable model home using milk jugs.

“What this program does is teach everyone like they’re the gifted child,” Schulson said, adding that this idea is based off of the philosophy of Joseph Renzulli, the director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Project-based learning focuses on interdisciplinary activities that solve real world problems.

Kyle has “flourished” since enrolling in The Compass, Beck said. “He’s come out of his shell and loves going to school.”

(Next page: How The Compass aims to improve learning)

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