Curriculum & Challenges
Chase‘s Design Driven Curriculum supports the following principles:
- Our school culture embraces risk and failure as part of the learning process
- Empathy is the first step required for solving any problem
- Making connections is critical for collaboration
- We employ design thinking activities to guide the process of creative problem solving
- Teachers nurture grit – passion and perseverance - in their students
- Learning happens when questions are relevant and problems are meaningful
Real life problems are presented to students. They are tasked with using the design thinking process to collaboratively create and test a viable solution.
Challenges provide students the opportunity to develop insights from multiple perspectives and solve real-world problems with critical thinking and analytical skills.
Students need more than 90 minute blocks of time to practice design thinking. Innovation Days are days when no traditional classes are taught. Students are assigned relevant and meaningful Challenges that need a solution. Typically occurring for 3 days in a row, Innovation Days offer opportunities for students to focus their efforts on thinking about thinking (metacognition) in order spend time on their Challenge and create solutions.
During Innovation Days, students work in small groups or individually to move their Challenge in the direction they believe best creates a solution. At the end of each round students will demonstrate their processes and outcomes to the Chase community for discussion.
Innovation within Daily Curriculum
Allowing students the time and freedom to think, stretch, create, prototype, fail, revise and operationalize during regular academic course time reinforces innovative thinking. Additionally, our weekly schedule contains time blocks that allow students to meet, brainstorm or continue working on their Challenges.
By creating a school-wide, innovative academic calendar, Chase is modeling a solution to a Challenge of “how can we prepare students for careers that do not currently exist and for a world whose landscape is largely undefined,” and preparing them to creatively address future social, societal technological and economic challenges.