Urban Discovery Academy aims to provide students with a high-quality, education that is tailored to individual needs and inspires student inquiry. Through a triad of support, parents, teachers and students establish a community of learners that encourages exploration and growth. We believe it is our responsibility as a school to ensure that we make learning meaningful, hands-on, and exciting. We use project-based-learning, or PBL, as our primary teaching methodology. PBL is the use of classroom projects, intended to bring about deep learning, where students use technology and inquiry to engage with issues and questions that are relevant to their lives. These classroom projects are used to assess student’s subject matter competence compared to traditional testing.
Project based learning is an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom. Project-based learning is synonymous with learning in depth. A well-designed project provokes students to encounter (and struggle with) the central concepts and principles of a discipline.
Project based learning is generally done in groups of students working together towards a common goal. Performance is assessed on an individual basis, and takes into account the quality of the product produced, the depth of content understanding demonstrated, and the contributions made to the ongoing process of project realization.
Finally, project based learning allows students to reflect upon their own ideas and opinions, exercise voice and choice, and make decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process in general.
Like project based learning, UDA’s general programmatic approach teaches the whole child while still maintaining our rigorous academics. Each student participates in rich enrichment programming, including the visual and performing arts as well as physical education. We believe that our focus on the arts helps children develop the necessary skill set to be creative problem solvers in the 21st Century.
We encourage teachers and students to explore the community around us, by incorporating frequent field trips into the curriculum and working with community partners to create real-world experiences. We aim to help students learn important life-skills such as civility, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.