Capitalizing on the Intersection Between Proficiency & Project-Based Learning: Why and How?

Friday, April 3rd, 8:30am - 11:30am

Explore the intersection of Proficiency- and Project-Based Learning through an equity lens. Why? Because each system of learning has its own distinct benefits and they are better together. Project-Based Learning offers opportunities for students to connect to topics of interest and issues in their community and the world. Proficiency-Based Learning allows teachers to select a set of critical skills and concepts along with detailed scoring criteria to guide instruction; it also allows students to explore and demonstrate their learning in different ways. Connecting these ideas provides space for students to see themselves in their learning, and engage in challenging work in authentic ways. In this session, we will explore examples of Proficiency-Based projects that highlight the power of this combined approach and investigate tools and resources designed to support teachers with implementation. In addition, we will engage in brainstorming and design activities that allow participants to apply learning to their individual contexts.

Steve Sell
Steve is a senior associate with Great Schools Partnership. In addition to having held a variety of teaching and leadership roles at secondary schools in Providence, Rhode Island, and New York City, Steve brings experience as a staff developer for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. His professional interests include harnessing student and community voice to create more equitable and inclusive classrooms and schools. 
Courtney Jacobs
Courtney Jacobs is a senior associate with Great Schools Partnership. She joined GSP after 16 years of teaching and leading in progressive public schools across the country. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor of Applied Mathematics at Brown University, co-founding a partnership between The Met School and Brown University’s Applied Math and Engineering departments. Courtney is the recipient of a Raytheon Math Heroes Award as well and the University of Rhode Island’s Unsung Heroine award. Courtney graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Public Policy. She earned her master’s degree in Education from Tufts University and she completed her teacher training at The Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. She lives in Pawtucket, RI with her husband and two children.