Coming Soon

Austin Green School is in the beginning stages of development and planning. We hope to open our doors by fall 2013. Our school will be kinder through high school with the possibility of an early childhood center.
If you are interested in helping us in any way please email us at
In the mean time please enjoy our blog as we make public our efforts and experiences.
We know the road ahead will be filled with many challenges but we are determined to give the community of Austin
the gift of a progressive educational community. Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Education for the 21st Century

Project based learning (PBL)
We believe in a curriculum that provides active learning experiences through project based learning (PBL). Projects engage the learner on topics of interest while providing cognitive lessons that in most cases well exceed the standards set by the Texas Department of Education.
What is PBL?
In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for student "voice and choice," projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.

In-depth Project Based Learning:
• Organized around an open-ended Driving Question or Challenge. These focus students’ work and deepen their learning by centering on significant issues, debates, questions and/or problems.
• Creates a need to know essential content and skills. Typical projects (and most instruction) begin by presenting students with knowledge and concepts and then, once learned, give them the opportunity to apply them. PBL begins with the vision of an end product or presentation, which requires learning specific knowledge and concepts, thus creating a context and reason to learn and understand the information and concepts.
• Requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new. Not all learning has to be based on inquiry, but some should. And this inquiry should lead students to construct something new – an idea, an interpretation, a new way of displaying what they have learned.
• Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. Students need to do much more than remember information—they need to use higher-order thinking skills. They also have to learn to work as a team and contribute to a group effort. They must listen to others and make their own ideas clear when speaking, be able to read a variety of material, write or otherwise express themselves in various modes, and make effective presentations. These skills, competencies and habits of mind are often known as "21st Century Skills".
• allows some degree of student voice and choice. Students learn to work independently and take responsibility when they are asked to make choices. The opportunity to make choices, and to express their learning in their own voice, also helps to increase students’ educational engagement.
• incorporates feedback and revision. Students use peer critique to improve their work to create higher quality products.
• results in a publicly presented product or performance. What you know is demonstrated by what you do, and what you do must be open to public scrutiny and critique.
If we are serious about reaching 21st Century educational goals, PBL must be at the center of 21st Century instruction. The project contains and frames the curriculum, which differs from the short "project" or activity added onto traditional instruction. PBL is, "The Main Course, not Dessert."

Why PBL?
Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. Projects also build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. PBL can motivate students who might otherwise find school boring or meaningless.
For more information on PBL please visit
You may also request a sample lesson plan for any grade or subject through email at