Discover is an accelerated program at QAS offered to students in 1st - 5th grades. Students must test into the program and receive teacher recommendation(s). Testing takes place every spring and may be requested by teachers or parents. The program offers cross-curricular learning experiences in collaborative and self-directed projects focusing on problem solving, research skills, creativity, and higher order thinking skills.
The educational philosophy of the Discover program here at Queen of All Saints is Project Based Learning (PBL). Project Based Learning emphasizes learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centered. Students investigate in-depth topics and construct meaningful products that are representative of their learning.
The benefits of Project Based Learning include:
1. Offering a variety of ways for students to participate and demonstrate knowledge.
2. Engaging students in their own learning.
3. Being student-center, not teacher centered.
4. Promoting collaborative learning.
5. Accommodating a variety of learning styles and intelligences.
6. Encouraging mastery of technological tools.
7. Developing social skills relating to group work.
8. Recognizing independent, self-directed learning.
9. Using higher order thinking skills and learning concepts.
10. Utilizing cross-curricular learning.
(RMC Research Corporation, 2000 & Ecole White House Elementary, 2009)
The progression of Project Based Learning units involves:
1. Introduction of Problem / Unit
2. Instruction (new information, vocabulary)
3. Expectations (rubric or project requirements)
4. Inquiry (brainstorming, research, organizing, developing)
5. Product construction
7. Evaluation (rubric-based, self, team, class)