As head of school at Brookhaven Innovation Academy, experienced educational leader Dr. Laurie Kimbrel oversees a blending learning curriculum for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Dr. Laurie Kimbrel manages faculty as they teach within a project-based learning model for all students.
Developed to make education more relevant and engaging for students, project-based learning allows students extended time to explore a multi-faceted question. The question must be meaningful to the students and have a number of potential avenues that lead to answers, so that the student must seek out diverse resources to discover a solution.
Project-based learning must also give students the leeway to make decisions about their project. Students gain agency over how they approach the question as well as the solution that they ultimately devise, while reflecting on the process and addressing any obstacles that arise. As they come to the final stages of their project development, students also receive and incorporate feedback to deepen their learning.
Throughout this process, students in a project-based learning model show and expand their knowledge. This learning covers multiple subjects and uses a number of skills, which can range from research and writing to engineering and design. Together, these skills converge in a learning narrative that challenges even as it gives students the experience of success in finding and presenting a practical solution.