The P3 Curriculum Framework is the vehicle for creating a school culture where the conditions exist to develop the Habits of the Heart, Mind, and Voice. P3 was born directly out of The Project School’s core beliefs and is grounded in years of lived and practical classroom experience, as well as extensive research. P3 is the mechanism through which we tie together the hard sciences, social sciences, history, and civics with our interdisciplinary reading, writing and mathematics curriculum.
The work of Project Zero at Harvard University, and in particular the Teaching for Understanding Project and Framework (TFU), served as a starting point for the development of the P3 framework. Teaching for Understanding: Linking Research and Practice, edited by Martha Stone Wiske (with contributions from world-renowned theorists Howard Gardner, David Perkins and numerous practicing educators), outlines the body of research that supports inquiry-based instruction that fosters thinking and understanding.
Starting with the TFU framework and The Project School’s core beliefs, the founding group of our school embedded the conceptual frameworks of project-based, problem-based, and place-based learning to create a curricular model that would lead to a highly rigorous and relevant curriculum for children that is directly connected to issues in their local and global communities. Students, teachers, families and community members work together to arrive at school-wide topics and essential questions that guide individual, group, and community projects. These projects directly address real problems in our communities. Every student is engaged in service-learning experiences that are intentionally connected to the school-wide themes (see Compelling & Generative Topic) and result in a real-life impact on real-life issues.
Students understand that they can make a difference in their communities, and the community sees the school as a force for social justice.
In addition to the extensive research and development of Project Zero at Harvard University, we also used resources and research from The George Lucas Foundation, the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Buck Institute, Dr. Sylvia Chard, and the Project Approach in the development of the P3 Curricular Framework.
The Project School is designed to meet the needs of any student who walks through the door. Through the P3 curricular design process, instructional delivery, and ongoing assessment, Project School teachers shape the workshops and performances of understanding to ensure that each student develops and progresses at developmentally appropriate rates. We believe every student deserves a curriculum that is engaging, relevant and rigorous. Because the P3 Framework is grounded in years of practical classroom experience and a strong research-based foundation, we are confident it serves as a vehicle to creating an engaging, relevant, and rigorous curriculum and is a perfect complement to our discipline-based approach to Literacy Workshops and Numeracy Workshops.