Breaking Down the Walls Between Learning and Life: Place Based Learning is Making a Difference in Philadelphia

Hosted by Revolution School
Sunday, May 19 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Fellow Philadelphians! Join us in breaking down the walls between learning and life. Students will experience first hand the Revolution School Difference Maker curriculum; educators can learn how to find the local resources that connect academic learning to the local community; community members will find many pathways to advancing their own work in Philadelphia through partnership with educators and young people. Together, we all can MAKE A DIFFERENCE in Philadelphia.

Revolution School is a new progressive, place-based, independent school opening with its founding 9th grade class in 2019. We believe in breaking down the walls between learning and life. Our approach is dynamic, experiential and founded on community partnerships. We believe deep learning and intellectual and personal growth are facilitated when there is relevance, joy and diversity in the experience. We support a systems’ thinking approach to learning-engaging students in an interdisciplinary curriculum, with a focus on understanding how subjects are interrelated, to facilitate a big picture way of thinking.

In Revolution’s program, students dive into the foundations, content, and subject matter through human, material and digital resources, in open flexible classroom spaces three days a week. They participate in workshops, seminars, and labs. The other two days are spent out of the classroom, in the community, following project questions in “inquiry lanes” at local businesses, science labs, civic spaces, environmental organizations and more. Our version of evaluation is centered on our belief that students are more than a number or a letter, that a holistic approach leads young people to leveraging their talents to support their growth.

Our learners are not just preparing for the future, but participating in the world now.

To get a sense of what this approach to teaching and learning feels like, we are hosting a Revolution Community Preview as a part of Remake Learning Days. This is our version of an open house. This Preview is intended to further extend our reach and our community by bringing together interested Philadelphians-students, educators, partners and potential partners to engage in sharing, experiencing and contributing to what school could be.

Through the story of two Philadelphia Difference Makers, Melissa DePino and Michele Sahene, we will invite our audience into a presentation and conversation about digital connectiveness and division — what they mean for the vitality of a diverse community. Melissa and Michelle met at Starbucks in Philadelphia on April 12, 2018. They connected after witnessing two innocent black men being arrested for not buying a coffee. They took action to stand up to racism — by speaking up that day, and posting a video of what happened on twitter—and set off an international story and fueled intentional conversation. What resulted was a friendship, but also a project called From Privilege to Progress to bridge segregated social-media networks. Their story opens our program and brings us together to dive into solutionary thinking. Participants will then be invited into learning experiences moving thinking from crossing social networks, to systems-level solutions.

Young people (7th and 8th graders) will break out into classrooms to examine related issues from a variety of perspectives and lenses, building on content ranging from legislation, applied math and writing for different audiences. Topics will include a focus on what diversity means, and the way that the digital world connects to this.

Adults will be invited to learn from our program partners about what it means to be part of our community and spend time with the Revolution team, asking questions about the why, how, and what of Revolution School. They will also have the opportunity to observe the student learning process, and observe the first-hand the excitement, the interest and the connections students and our communities are making.

This event is designed to open doors and minds to what school could be. We want to engage educators interested in this approach, or already using it. We’d love to gather new community members, who can talk to our community partners to explore valuable ways youth can participate in our city. Families and students can join to dig into our program and ask for details on the School.

We envision Revolution as both a school and a School of Thought. Our educators bring a set of practices that expand beyond the industrial model of education. The pedagogy, deeply entrenched in the progressive model, offers learning to those across groups, generations, experiences. Even if you do not have a seventh or eighth grader who may attend Revolution, we want to share and discuss our model with you. We’d love educators with or without experience in project -based learning, community members who may have interest in knowing what we’re all about, families who might like to consider Revolution School. We believe deep learning and intellectual and personal growth are facilitated when we bring relevance, joy and diversity to experience. We believe intentional cross-cutting connections and conversations, entered with respect to diverse view, are what inspire and catalyze innovation. We’d love to have you as a part of our community and conversation.


Sunday, May 19
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Primary theme:
Secondary themes
Youth Voice
Register Here:
Professional Development
Handicap Accessible
Handicap Accessible
Age Range
All ages, Grades 6-8


Revolution School
215 631 3697
Collaborating Organization(s):
Privilege to Progress


Industrious Philadelphia
230 S. Broad Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, 19102 United States
+ Google Map
267 308-5131

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