No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning

See on Scoop.itEducational Discourse

A Boston area innovation studio for middle and high school students is bucking the traditional school model for what students love best: hands-on learning.


NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We basically teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion.

No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 kids work closely with their 2 coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems.

No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system.

No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.

No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9-3 solving one problem.

No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students’ design decisions and show their final products.

Kelly Christopherson‘s insight:

The idea is interesting, having taken a Design Thinking course, I see there are numerous ways schools can use that concept to their advantage. This ideas needs scale – how does it work with more students? Not that it can’t, but how – what would be a solution? 

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  1. jcbjr9455


    I presume there is a strong presence expected in the portfolio to document what in college would called general education; in traditional high schools, it would be civics, contemporary thought, … Please understand I’m sure these are in the multi-disciplinary projects; just think students need to be able to identify the same. So much better in this type of effort!!!

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