April 3rd, 2013

WATCH: Deeper Learning in Danville, KY

About four years ago, parents and educators in Danville, KY, decided they wanted more from their schools. Impressed by classrooms that were usingproject based learning,” the community outlined a new vision for the district. Today, Danville seems to be on its way to making lasting change. They say there’s one thing holding them back: the state test. But that may be changing too.

View Transcript (PDF)

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Tietz Family Foundation.


Danville Backstory

The Backstory

Find out what happened in Danville before we arrived, after we left, and why you should watch a documentary we produced 16 years ago.


Deeper Learning

Learning Matters on Deeper Learning

Want to learn more about this type of teaching? Watch our other ‘Deeper Learning’ reports for the NewsHour here.

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Just watched PBS piece on Danville, KY. If I’m not mistaken, John Merrow stated that only about 1.5% (correct figure) of schools use project-based learning. I may have a hearing problem. As an 8th grade history teacher, I have used project-based learning techniques (called inquiry-based learning in the 1970s) since I began teaching. I find it hard to believe that only a few public schools use this approach. Perhaps fewer schools are using project-based learning because they’re busy teaching to the high-stakes test, which is anathema to project-based learning.

I found the piece on Danville, KY very inspiring and encouraged that there are schools and communities that realize the importance of “learning”. As an art instructor, project based learning is the norm. I dont think many people realize how much content goes into those art lessons. Making something from nothing with your own hands and mind are so essential to a child’s development. As art programs continue to be cut, I can’t help but cheer on a school district that steps out of the norm and pursues an authentic way for each child to learn and exercise their brains.

Bravo to this courageous group of educators who are guiding students toward significant learning by rejecting the factory model of teacher as mind-stuffer. Bravo also to John Merrow for his excellent reporting.

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