REALM Charter School

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Berkeley, CA


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Work Culture at REALM Charter School

Community Oriented
Our Story

REALM Charter School  is a learning community founded on the principles of Love, Grit, and  Action. REALM serves students grades 6-12 with a focus on college  preparedness, project-based learning, and social justice. Our middle and  high school programs support and challenge the whole child through  rigorous curriculum, a personalized  advisory program, and creative  enrichment opportunities. We prepare students to succeed in college and  beyond by connecting the classroom to their community, core content to  creativity, and their own voice to contemporary citizenship.   

Why Project-based Learning (PBL)? Project-based learning (PBL) is one of  REALM Charter School’s main strategies to increase academic achievement.  Project-based learning is backed by comprehensive evidence that  demonstrates deeper student understanding and retention (Boaler, 1997,  Geier, Blumenfeld, Marx, Krajcik, Fishman, Soloway, & Clay-Chambers,  2008). Research shows that, in PBL, learners actively use what they  know to explore, negotiate, interpret, and create (Dochy, Segers, Van  den Boss Leary, 2008). Through PBL, students develop a better capability  to integrate and explain concepts (Capon and Kuhn, 2004), which  prepares students for future learning (Schwartz and Martin, 2004).  Furthermore, project-based learning has been shown to engage students  (Boaler, 1992), cut absenteeism (Creghan and Adair-Creghan, 2015), boost  cooperative learning skills, improve standardized test scores (Geier,  Blumenfeld, Marx, et al., 2008), and increase academic achievement  (Geier, Blumenfeld, Marx, Krajcik, Fishman, Soloway, &  Clay-Chambers, 2008, Mergendoller, Maxwell and Bellisimo 2007, Hickey,  Kindfield, Horwitz and Christie, 1999, Lynch, Kuipers, Pyke and Szesze,  2005, Walker and Leary, 2008). Those benefits are enhanced when  technology is used in a meaningful way in the projects, such as in our  robotics, video game design, computer programming, and design/build  after-school opportunities (PBL Research Summary, 2009). There is also  ample evidence that PBL is an effective method for teaching students  complex processes such as planning, communicating, problem solving, and  decision making (Thomas, 2000). Ultimately, PBL has been shown to  improve students’ mastery of 21st century skills (Cognition and  Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992, Hmelo, 1998, Gallagher, Stepien  and Rosenthal, 1992).

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