Winchester Thurston School is a prekindergarten to grade 12 independent school located in Pittsburgh, PA. City as Our Campus is a community-based learning initiative integrated in our core academic curriculum. Through these experiential learning experiences, Winchester Thurston engages community members as co-educators, utilizes community spaces as learning environments outside of the classroom, and encourages students to study and address various community issues.
City as Our Campus is a faculty driven program, which allows them to implement community-based learning in personally meaningful ways for their classroom and students. It is one of the many teaching methods our faculty can utilize to engage their students. This embedded program model allows for every student, prekindergarten to grade 12, to participate in this initiative through various experiences that align with each individual teacher's curriculum and goals.
Winchester Thurston School partnered with the Learning Research and Development Center at University of Pittsburgh to study City as Our Campus and its impact on student learning. Through this effort, we identified the following benefits achieved through participation in City as Our Campus:
- Depth and purpose to the content was experienced by learning from those doing the work in the community and/or those experiencing what students are learning about.
- A higher level of mastery was achieved through the process of actively applying learning to authentic situations that embrace the ambiguity and complexity of the real-world.
- Teachers and students experienced greater engagement and enjoyment because they were able to pursue passions that were personally meaningful to them.
We believe that City as Our Campus is an innovative approach to teaching and learning that helps our students have a higher level of mastery and a stronger set of skills that will prepare them to be active and engaged members of the community.