Last week at St. James, students participated in a project week focusing on elections. During project weeks we ask students to work toward a culminating experience or a capstone to the project. The capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students. This teaches students how to integrate what they have learned and present it to their teacher, peers, parents, and other community members for evaluation.
During our Election Project Week, teachers created projects designed to encourage students to think critically and solve challenging problems. Students also developed skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, and goal setting. These skills will help prepare students to be successful as they progress through the educational system and into adult life.
The culminating projects were interdisciplinary. They required students to apply skills or investigate issues across multiple subject areas or domains of knowledge. Teachers also encouraged students to connect their projects to the current election cycle – integrating outside-of-school learning experiences and promoting conversations at home with family and friends. This integration helps to promote sustainable learning and real life application.
The educational goals accomplished during project week included:
- Increased academic rigor based on where the student is currently at.
- Increased student motivation and engagement.
- Exposure to educational and career possibilities.
- Improving student confidence and self-perceptions.
- Demonstrating learning and proficiency.
Project-based learning, or inquiry-based learning, is an integral part of education at St. James. Research shows that students learn, retain and can apply concepts that are taught through this strategy. Our faculty is committed to engaging and motivating students to become world thinkers and servant leaders.