I ran across the video for The Independent Project yesterday, and was immediately intrigued by the idea. Some high school students basically created their own “school-within-a-school” in which they pursued their own interests. One student developed the idea, and 8 students ended up participating in the pilot project. This excerpt is taken from their “White Paper“, which details the process of developing The Independent Project, “His intent was to design a school in which students would be fully engaged in and passionate about what they were learning, would have the experience of truly mastering something, or developing expertise in something, and would be learning how to learn. He felt that the most important ingredient to a school like that would be that it was student-driven.”
This idea runs along the same lines as the Genius Hour, but is even more expansive, as this became the format for these eight students for their entire school day, every school day. When you watch the video, you will see the impact this project had on a very diverse group of kids – which also reminds me of the philosophy of Universal Design for Learning.
The video, which you can also see at the project’s website, is 15 minutes long, but well worth watching.