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Real World Learning

Purpose of Design Labs

Our charter is to personalize students’ learning by leveraging their interests to engage in authentic, real-world, challenging work. Project-based learning allows us to meet this charter.

When we opened our school, we realized we needed a framework for teaching students how to learn: how to engage in and pursue project-based learning that leveraged their interests to do real, authentic and challenging work. We adopted Design Thinking as our common framework so staff and students would have a common language and understanding of the skills necessary to achieve our goal.

We pursue this goal through one-on-one learning, project planning and internships, but we created Design Labs (D-Labs) as the method we would use to scaffold this framework in a collaborative setting. Directly teaching Design Thinking enables students to apply those skills to their independent projects and internships. D-Labs are staff guiding students to do the work that is most challenging and authentic.