“We had their passions and dreams up on the board,” Katherine Kelly, Compass Rose Academy’s new Academic Director, said. It is part of the new project-based learning system. Academic standards are met by beginning with a problem, a problem that grows from the passions and concerns of the students.

“What motivates you?” Katherine asked them. “What do you want to change in the world?”

She was not surprised by the depth these questions elicited from the young women, though those not familiar with the character and insight that trauma can carve out in people might find their answers troubling…

“How does compassion affect mental health?” one young lady wondered.

“How does bullying impact the rates of suicide?” asked another.

“It began to go from small to big,” Katharine said, when another wondered aloud why bees are disappearing. Ideas were shared. Long-term consequences were pondered, and soon we were dreaming up tee-shirts to combat the environmental issue of the missing bee! The tee-shirts would read: “Bee the change.”

CRAs project-based learning will bring together many disciplines – English, the Arts, geography – to study a problem and still other disciplines – math, science, history, perhaps – will be used to come up with various solutions to those problems.

Project-based Learning “allows the learner to conceptualize, develop and complete a concrete project with the application of the concepts acquired. Discussions and lectures are still provided in this approach, but for a brief amount of time. More time is devoted to the development of the project. The learners are given the chance to collaborate, think critically, learn about careers, communicate effectively, and tackle real-life problems and situations as they go about their projects.” (Bright Hub Education).