We’re going to the White House! (Again!)

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in General | No Comments

The Workshop School and the mighty EVX Team have done it again! We are delighted to announce that the team was invited to participate in the first ever White House Maker Faire on June 18. A team of seven Workshop School students, two teachers, and principal Simon Hauger will attend the event, which will feature the team’s latest project: a Factory Five Racing 818 biodiesel sports car!…

Technology and the Work of Knowing

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in General | No Comments

There’s no question about the benefits of using technology to support teaching and learning. It’s efficient, it prepares students for college and careers, and at its best, it allows for personalization. There’s also no shortage of challenges. We spend a lot of time worrying about the time students can waste on technology, or whether they are accessing appropriate content.…

What we’re learning

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in General | No Comments

We’re just over halfway into our first year as a full high school. We’re asking students to learn through project work, and we’re doing the same thing as a staff. One of our co-founders, Aiden Downey, talks a lot about what we learn by working on the school, and the importance of doing that work in the same way we ask students to do theirs: open, democratic, creative, no shortcuts.…

Greens in a Box: West Coast edition!

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in General | No Comments

Last year, FreshDirect, an on-line grocery and delivery service new to the Philadelphia area, was incredibly generous in providing Sustainability Workshop students fresh healthy food. We enjoyed a wonderful variety of fresh fruits, salads, and entrees. Mango, pineapple, apples, oranges, bananas, and spinach all became staples of our diet.

Earlier this year, FreshDirect challenged Workshop students to design and build a hydroponic system to grow our own food.…

Check out the new projects!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in General | No Comments

It’s been such a busy year that we haven’t had nearly enough time to keep up with the website and blog. But our students have done some amazing work! Check out two of our projects from this year, Teens Intervene and Land RAFTS, on the projects page.…

Why trust matters

Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in General | No Comments

At the Workshop, we spend about the first month of the school year building community: Defining what we value as a group, exploring what makes us who we are as individuals, and learning to share that with one another. We’re getting to know one another, and trying to send and reinforce the message that our students have a lot of say in what kind of community we become.…

Wildfire learning

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in General | No Comments

It’s a worn out cliche, I know. But the other analogy people usually draw in this situation is to chaos theory. And the truth is that I’ve read quite a bit about that and still don’t really understand it, so I feel like a poseur using that metaphor. So wildfire it is.…

Focusing on what matters, Part 1

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in General | No Comments

The Consortium for Chicago School Research is out with a new report on “noncognitive” factors affecting students’ academic performance. It’s a comprehensive review of the research literature on the extent to which a series of “noncognitive factors” (a misnomer, as the authors admit) such as academic behaviors, perseverance, academic mindset, learning strategies, and social skills are associated with students’ academic performance.…

Dear Philly: Please read

Posted by on Sep 21, 2012 in General | No Comments

Rick Hess’s post today on his Ed Week blog is a must read. Why? Because it’s written collaboratively by two school reformers who disagree profoundly on a range of issues. And it’s about where they find common ground.

I like and agree with some of their conclusions, especially the futility of centralized, command and control school reform.…

Passion, creativity, and persistence

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 in General | No Comments

Whether I was talking to people who had launched their own nonprofits or NGOs, started schools or businesses, or worked on issues of climate change, a common theme at the Aspen festival was this: the most important skills and attributes of people who were making a difference were that they were highly creative thinkers, they were passionate about what they did, they knew how to execute on ideas, and they were able to maintain focus, learn from failure and persevere.…