COMMUNITY ENGAGED LEARNING
At Berkwood Hedge School our mission to promote social justice within both the school culture and the larger community guides our Community Engaged Learning program. We focus on critical, reflective thinking, social justice and civic responsibility with a program that engages students in responsible and challenging actions for the common good and provides structured opportunities for students to reflect critically on their experience.
Through opportunities to learn social, scientific, and practical skills and content, be valued by the community, and recognize their interdependence with others, students develop a life-long awareness of their connectedness to others and sense of responsibility for their community. Our program provides opportunities for students to use newly acquired academic skills and knowledge, creating a bridge between what they are doing in the classroom and the community service they perform.
Students learn by doing. Project-based learning engages students in an authentic real-world context, building upon student interests, and student voice and choice in the project. In project-based learning (PBL), a complex essential question, which is based on content standards and learning outcomes, drives the project. Students ask questions, find resources, and apply information. The purpose is sustained inquiry in which students develop deeper questions to stimulate further inquiry. Teachers facilitate reflection to guide growth and learning. Students build collaboration and problem solving skills of giving and receiving feedback and revision to improve their process and product. Final projects are presented in a public format in which students explain their knowledge and process to others within and beyond the classroom.
At Berkwood Hedge School, we recognize technology as a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Students learn to be good digital citizens, understanding etiquette, the importance of their digital footprint and online persona, and the potential impact of their online actions on the people around them. Technology is integrated throughout the rest of the middle school program in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. Students use it to research writing topics in humanities, experiment with and observe scientific phenomena, code robotics for design and innovation projects, and more.