With an educational leadership background spanning more than a decade, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel leverages experience as Tamalpais Union High School District superintendent to serve in her present position with the Brookhaven Innovation Academy. Dr. Laurie Kimbrel has experience implementing leading-edge pedagogical approaches, from flipped instruction to project-based learning.
The project-based learning approach involves the teacher relinquishing a significant amount of learning to the students, who are engaged as active partners in an exploratory process that extends well beyond the classroom. An emphasis is placed on clear and open communication, coupled with critical thinking processes that enable students to develop into well rounded, community-involved individuals.
Implementing such a system requires ensuring that academic leaders and faculty members are on the same page and working together to redesign the curriculum. Consistent messaging should be coupled with a “start small and grow” approach that gives teachers time and space to understand how expectations fit in with the everyday rigors of teaching and getting students actively involved.
Modeling is essential in enabling instructors to go beyond traditional methodologies and embrace a new approach. In addition, teachers must be given ample opportunities to communicate with each other and share what did and what didn’t work for them. Through this collaborative, inclusive process, a cohesive project-based learning environment that spans teachers and subjects is created. This in turn creates a unified set of parameters within which students can easily grow as learners.