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How to implement an interdisciplinary PBL high school program?

Innovation Institute

location_on Shanghai, China
Innovation Institute at Shanghai American School is a two-year interdisciplinary project-based learning program in high school wherein students grapple with a series of open-ended, complex questions that address some of humanity’s most pressing problems through collaborative and creative processes.
Every major project we had was a ride of its own. No ride was the same as any others, because of different group mates, different objectives, and different end products. After finishing each project, there's a feeling that 'Hey, I did this!' that I can sort of get when I do well on something like a test, but not really. That's because my group and I had made something tangible, like a coffee table book or a film or board game. I feel satisfied knowing all the work that goes into something like that. Sure, it feels good when you ace a test, but that's just me feeling great about my grades. These projects make a person feel good about themselves.

Junior Student, 2017 (“graduate” of Innovation Institute)

Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation

HundrED 2019

Key figures

Innovation Overview

13 - 16
Age Group
245
Children/Users
1
Country
2014
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
1 964
Views
Updated on October 19th, 2020
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Innovation Institute

INTRODUCTION

What is Innovation Institute ?

Innovation Institute at Shanghai American School is a two-year interdisciplinary project-based learning program wherein students grapple with a series of open-ended, complex questions that address some of humanity’s most pressing problems through collaborative and creative processes. It is through each area’s unique content, the application of skills, and the meaningful integration points between disciplines that Institute students develop learning skills needed to generate, evolve, and refine creative solutions to some of the challenges facing modern society.

In an increasingly globalized and technological world, leaders in all areas acknowledge that mastery in critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication are essential to our ability to successfully respond to current and future challenges.   

Innovation Institute helps students to develop 21st century learning skills (sometimes called 21st century competencies or the 4C's). The program was developed by founding teachers and an administrator who felt strongly that students would benefit from an engaging, interdisciplinary, project-based learning environment.

This program incorporates 4 courses in both grade 9 and grade 10: English, science, social studies, and a design course that is a fine arts elective.

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

May 2019
1000 views
November 2018
HundrED 2019
February 2018
Innovation added to the HundrED
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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

00
Develop a Program (Optional)
Can you do interdisciplinary project-based learning within your existing structure? Or do you need to create a new structure in order to make it happen?
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01
Backwards Design to Develop a Project
Teachers collaborate to backwards design to develop an interdisciplinary project.
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02
Project Launch
Plan an Engaging Project Launch
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03
Foundational Learning
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04
Incubation
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05
Iteration
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