Learning By Design

“Search in ways by which we can make discoveries, and discover ways by which we can keep on searching.” 
— St. Augustine, Sermon 16 A, 1. 

At Malvern Prep, Learning By Design means that our educational programs are experiential, project-based and student–centered; they are designed to help our students create deep understanding and true knowledge, and learn how to ask the right questions to solve problems within a team. Further, by teaching across disciplines, our students not only gain skills and knowledge, but they come to value the process of learning as they create learning.

What is Project Based Learning?

It is a dynamic approach to teaching, in which students explore real-world problems. It’s based on the thinking that students learn best by experiencing and solving real-world problems. Project–Based Learning typically includes:

The Immigration Project Connection:    
 Learn how Malvern Prep puts
Project-Based Learning into action
  • Students learning core concepts from traditional disciplines and applying that knowledge to a real world issue or problem, centered around an essential question
  • Students working in groups.
  • Teachers serving as guides and facilitators.
  • A student-produced presentations or products summarizing the their learning throughout the project, not only at the end.  

This teaching method requires students to create, revise, challenge knowledge and develops critical thinking, collaboration, communication, reasoning,
synthesis and resilience skills
(Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008).

When done effectively, Project-Based Learning will achieve:

  • A greater depth of understanding about concepts.
  • A broader knowledge base.
  • Improved communication, collaboration and inter-personal skills.
  • Enhanced leadership skills.
  • Increased creativity.
  • Improved writing skills.

See project-based learning in action as students build guitars.

Project-Based Learning is Student-Driven Learning

Project-Based Learning refocuses education on the student, rather than the curriculum. It allows the student to a more intense engagement with and  ownership of the learning. Students construct the knowledge, instead of passively receiving it.

For more information, visit The Buck Institute, a national leader in Project-Based Learning Research. 

Why are Essential Questions Important?

Project-Based Learning is centered around carefully crafted questions that cut to the core concept of study. These questions are generally open-ended, concept-based, big picture and over-arching. The answers require explanations, justification, and often cannot be evaluated in simple terms like “yes or no”, “right or wrong." Learn more from ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and leading.


 Project-Based Learning in Action

Innovations in Project-Based Learning (SOS Night) from Malvern on Vimeo.

Our Mission

An Augustinian School,
Catholic and Independent,
Living the Augustinian spirit of
Veritas, Unitas and Caritas.

Malvern Preparatory School

418 S. Warren Avenue
Malvern, PA 19355
(484) 595-1100
© Copyright Malvern Preparatory School. All rights reserved.