Duke School bases its project work on The Project Approach model developed by Lilian Katz and Sylvia Chard. Katz and Chard define a project as an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of student time, attention and energy.
In planning, teachers select a real world topic based on student interest, the school’s curriculum standards and the availability of resources. The Project Approach projects follow four distinct stages:
Project Work in Action
"We chose Duke School for our daughter Amelia in kindergarten because we thought the emphasis on project-based learning and a strongly collaborative learning environment would suit her. We’ve been consistently pleased with the creativity of the teachers and way in which Amelia and her friends have learned, not just the facts, but the way facts fit together. The result has been a natural understanding of the complexity of the world and the way in which different approaches lead to richer understanding. The reports we receive in lieu of grades give us a detailed sense of where our daughter is successful and where she may need additional support from us or from her teachers. We’re very pleased with the way the students treat each other and with the social atmosphere among the students. The social and cultural environment has been consistently supportive, positive, inclusive, and respectful. In a year our daughter will go to high school. We know she will be well prepared academically and personally to thrive in any setting."
~Christoph, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Duke University, Catherine, Amelia '13
- Chard, Kogan & Castillo (2017). Picturing the Project Approach. Gryphon House.
- Katz, Chard & Kogan (2014). Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach, Third Edition. Praeger.
Kathy Bartelmay, Curriculum Director, Duke School
PATEN (Project Approach Teacher Education Network) Trainer
© 2017, K. Bartelmay, Duke School
The Educators Institute at Duke School
The Educators Institute at Duke School brings educators from across the world together for project work, curriculum training, and exploration. We welcome teachers (preschool, elementary, middle school), curriculum specialists, team leaders and school administrators.