Paladin Career and Technical High School puts a high emphasis on the dynamic and engaging method of “learning by doing”. This approach allows students to explore and investigate real-world problems and challenges, developing a greater conceptual understanding, improved communication and social skills, increased creativity, and improved writing abilities. Project based learning lends itself to student-driven rather than curriculum-based education; engaging and rewarding positive assets like drive, passion, and resiliency. It is our belief that the most effective learning comes from experience, rather than textbooks.
A project is built around essential open-ended “driving questions,” which require a full spectrum of 21st Century Skills including critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. Critiquing and revising helps reinforce the lessons and understanding in any given project. Because project based learning actively encourages choice and student voice, it is lead by the student, while educational staff provide support and guidance to help them create successful and meaningful products.
Most students have little to no experience with a project- based learning environment prior to their enrollment at Paladin. Students can participate in one of our guided projects which help students to learn the process of creating, managing and completing a project, and can be found in our Guided Project Library! Students participating in guided projects still have independent project time, with the guided projects providing an example for students to follow.
While Paladin’s guided projects offer educational opportunities across all areas of learning, students have the most to gain by engaging in self-chosen projects. These have ranged from studio recording to starting a small business to political activism. The possibilities are literally endless. Because these are designed, developed, and finalized by the students themselves, these types of projects inspire and motivate students much more effectively by building on their natural interests and passions.