Student-Centered Learning: Impact Academy of Arts and Technology

Channa Mae Cook-Harvey

With a distinct focus on personalization and student engagement, Impact Academy of Arts and Technology High School (Impact Academy) stands out as a unique learning environment when compared to neighboring comprehensive high schools. At Impact Academy, students are expected to know how to synthesize information, determine what’s important, and present what they’ve learned. The school’s assessment model, exhibitions, and defenses become the ultimate measure of whether a student fully understands a concept.

With more than half of its students living in poverty, Impact Academy is an exemplar of what student-centered teaching and learning looks like in an urban center. This report explores how student-centered approaches and personalization have fostered a culture of success at Impact Academy.

Keeping students at the center, both when you're designing curriculum and when you're teaching, means incorporating as much student involvement as you possibly can—that's where the whole project-based learning piece comes in.