Lessons Learned from the Schools We Need Project

The Schools We Need Project works to both build a theory of schools designed to engage students and the practical implementation of such schools, such the Academy School in Buffalo, NY, and other Citadel Group schools. Below are articles from the Schools We Need Project and external articles of interest to the project.

Creating an Educational Program to Engage Students

  • Designing schools that engage students may be the solution to several district challenges: dropouts and underachievers, student flight to charters and private schools, and local economic development.
  • There are 9 Essential Elements to Meaningful Engaged Learning.
  • Combining those elements with an effective school organizational program can create a strong systemic model for reengaging students.
  • Data, especially about teacher practice, can be a powerful tool to help create the targeted type of learning environments.
  • This work requires an alternative policy of academic progression, one based on "hours logged" and "standards met."
  • Such a policy needs the right tools.

Challenges to Good School Reform Work

Reaching Hard to Teach Students

What Helps Kids Learn?

  • Tone of voice matters to hard to teach students.
  • When asked about their good learning experiences, people tend to report the same set of characteristics of those experiences.
  • Really engage the students and you can’t see the teaching anymore.
  • A little success can make a huge difference.
  • Content needs to be contextualized locally, but should also connect globally.
  • Students are more engaged when content is contextualized by an "Engaging Task."

Teaching and Learning in Technology Rich Environments

Learning (and Teaching) with Technology

Learning From Other Schools & From Students


The Schools We Need Project

Because some students need more than direct instruction.

The Schools We Need Project is a joint project of the Maine Center for Meaningful Engaged Learning at the University of Maine at Farmington