2016 Summer Program Summary & Outcome Report


The questions that drive our work at GLM are quite simple: how can we influence student and teacher learning so that every day is inspiring, interactive, skill-building, and unique to each individual? How can we strategically, effectively, and positively transform the experience of learning for more and more students, educators, and City2ClassroomTM communities? How can every child find her place in herself, with others, and in the world? And how do we strategically equip her with the requisite skills, tools, and confidence?

The process of pursuing these questions continually reaffirms our belief in and practice of inquiry and project-based learning: First we teach educators how to (re)learn this way, then to instruct the model, and as the outcomes testify, to reveal the beauty of students flourishing.

What does inquiry and mastery look like in your life?

This is our leading question in our first professional development sessions with teachers new to the model. This starting point invites reflection, discussion, and appreciation of both purpose and process. It sets a high bar for our performance as educators; we must model and facilitate inquiry, experimentation, collaboration, and demonstrations of excellence. We must re-learn how to learn and devote ourselves to the craft of teaching students who experience the world differently than we do.

Why begin with a question? Why take action? What does growth oriented feedback look and sound like? How do teachers earn credibility and trust from students? These are but a few questions that guide our professional development programs; we challenge educators to walk the walk, to practice what they preach, to lead by example, to know their content, and most importantly, to observe and know their students so that they may help make the subject matter and context real, while inspiring the development of skills and personality.

Students enjoy learning. This is a fact, not an opinion. Learning feels good, when it fits. We are humbled to report that the cohort of educators this summer devoted themselves to ensuring fit. Teachers humorously, empathetically, and insightfully engaged students. The students swiftly discovered a safe place to ask questions, reflect, laugh, experiment, imagine and plan their futures, develop STEAM skills, read, write, think, interview community members, experience social justice, present publicly, and gather momentum for the upcoming school year.

Pragmatically, Guggenheim supported Urban X Learning in partnership with Global Learning Models to deliver professional development and high school curriculum for more than 20 educators and 180 students. Programs took place in Chicago (Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet School and Horizons for Youth) and in Lansing, Michigan, at all three high schools: Eastern, Everett, and J.W. Sexton.  All courses provided academic and life-preparation, and the range of courses included Humanities, STEAM, and Electives (see course descriptions below): Journalism, Who Am I?, and M.A.G.I.C.

The 2016 Summer Program built upon the 2015 pilot by increasing numbers of educators trained and students enrolled. The quality of programs, as evident in educator feedback and student work, demonstrates greater skill development, personal connection, and potential for long-term impact.

We intend to continue our work with partner schools throughout the 2016-17 school year. Several educators are already utilizing GLM curriculum in their classroom and all are implementing elements of the model. In 2017, we intend to dramatically increase the number of schools, educators, and students served in Chicago. Participating organizations are planning to increase student enrollment, implement school-year curriculum, and several additional Chicagoland schools have already requested the opportunity to participate.

Student Learning


One hundred and fifty-two students were enrolled in the 2016 Summer Program: 50 at Michele Clark, 22 at Horizons for Youth, and 80 in Lansing

GLM provided a few key inputs for students: curriculum, Edsero (digital learning platform), City2ClassroomTM model for field experiences and external investigations, and a bevy of templates and examples for teachers to use when implementing the program.

Course Descriptions


How do you know about the world?

In Journalism, you will learn how to observe, analyze and report on current events through different media: Image, Sound, and Text. In each Unit, you will follow the path of investigative journalism in one of those media, with two specific goals in mind: 1) Develop critical thinking through investigation; 2) Fact-check our assumptions about the world. You will start by asking yourself essential questions: What is news? How do you decide a story is worth sharing? Why is journalism one of the most dangerous professions in the world? Is there such a thing as neutrality? Are there facts, or only opinions?

After this introduction, in each unit you will be challenged to conduct an exploration in one realm of journalism: you will follow a full cycle of investigation, meet with specialists in the area, and conclude the Unit with an Action Project to report news in one different format: a photo-essay, a podcast, and an original news article.

Read more about the Journalism course here


Who are your guiding lights and how do they help you achieve your dreams?

Who do you admire and learn from in hopes of becoming more like them? The purpose of this course, M.A.G.I.C. (Mentoring Achievement of Goals and Inspiring Champions), is to identify a guiding light, and more importantly, to follow their examples to create the life of which you dream.

The goal for this course is to inspire you and to help you clarify your goals, make a plan, and to put it into motion. Discover your greatest ambitions; be honest about your challenges. Winning isn’t what builds champions — the path is paved with unforeseen challenges and painful failures. What will you do to prepare for success and respond to setbacks? This will ultimately tell the story of your life.

Read more about the M.A.G.I.C. course here

Who Am I?

How will I investigate my Self to know who I am?

“Who Am I?” propels a journey into the self (one’s beliefs, origins, fears, and hopes) pursued through philosophical discussions, self-reflections, historical investigations, and diverse field experiences. The course explores the lives of people in progress: What do my truths say about who I am? What do my memories say about who I am? What do my doubts say about who I am? What do my dreams say about who I am?

Students answer these questions through a personal “This I Believe…” essay which they build into podcast intended to engage and influence others.

Read more about the Who Am I? Course here


Students were motivated, engaged, understood the value of the courses, made personal connections with the material, expanded their personal and pre-professional networks, developed key academic, executive functioning, and non-cognitive skills, and felt clearer about their future ambitions, pathways, challenges, and abilities to achieve their aspirations (uniquely and relative to peers). See student feedback in the video below:

Program Video Highlights

Student Highlights (password: education)

Student Work

Horizons for Youth, Chicago IL

Students chronicled their experience of the Journalism course in On the Horizon, a digital magazine, including an article about diversity and photo essay of their Field Experience to NBC5 Chicago.
See the digital magazine here

By experiencing Who Am I?, students discovered elements of their own identities by exploring creation myths and demonstrated their understanding through stop-motion videos.

Watch the videos here

Lansing School District, Lansing MI

Students in Lansing, Michigan explored the relationship between role models, environment, and opportunities to formulate a “Big Audacious Goal” in the form of  their very own Hall of Fame speech. Presented in this digital Issuu magazine are examples of student research and reflective visions of their future successes.

Read the speeches here

Michele Clark Academic Preparatory
High School, Chicago IL

Read the MCAPHS Self-Report here

Educator Development


I&PBL 101: All teachers new to the GLM model began by taking the Inquiry and Project-Based Learning 101 (I&PBL) course, which introduced the model and established a shared vocabulary.  Teachers took the course independently online, and then met with the GLM team for an in-person intensive Professional Development session over 2.5 days.  The in-person PD provided an opportunity to reinforce vocabulary and concepts from I&PBL, and allowed teachers to begin the invaluable process of interdisciplinary collaboration, which is too often absent from school structures.

MtL: After completing I&PBL, teachers began the Model the Learning (MtL) course. Using a specific course from the GLM Library, teachers experienced and critiqued the content step by step, taking on the role of student.  It is our firm belief that teachers must actually experience the courses they will be teaching, and the MtL course guides them through that process, providing opportunities to understand, scrutinize, customize and scaffold the content for their specific student bodies.  Teachers were given the opportunity to brainstorm best practices and strategies together, as well as design and pilot-teach sample lessons, benefitting from constructive feedback from their peers and a robust list of teaching strategies to employ.

Observations: The I&PBL and MtL courses are intended to prepare educators for working effectively with students by knowing their content inside and out.  After completing in-person PD with the GLM team, educators taught a course from our library with their students; this summer, those courses included Journalism, Who am I? and M.A.G.I.C.  The GLM team supported teachers throughout the program in a variety of ways, including virtual and e-mail conversations; weekly in-person observations; and debrief sessions that allowed teachers to share their successes and challenges, make immediate refinements, and work collaboratively in the process.


The PD provided by GLM allowed for a series of outcomes that are highlighted below. Better teachers. Better people. Energized about the craft that is Education. Please see the video and survey sample for a clearer picture of the educators and their feedback.

Program Video Highlights

Educator Highlights (password: education) Educator Feedback (password: education)

Educator Survey Feedback Highlights

Q: Do you feel this workshop was a worthy use of your time?

93% of participants felt like the workshop was a worthy use of their time.

Q: Do you trust the Global Learning Models team?

96% trust the Global Learning Models team.

Q: Is the Global Learning Models team capable of differentiating instruction to support your specific needs?

96% feel the Global Learning Models team is capable of differentiating instruction.

What were the most
valuable aspects of this workshop?
It opened up tremendous opportunity to connect with our students in a balanced exchange of ideas and thoughts. I love the way it encourages the students to think outside of the norm.

I got a better sense of what to plan and prepare for, I loved the collaboration, and it made me intrigued to find my own math projects to incorporate in my own class.

1) Being able to learn different way to teach students. 2) Finding out how to engage students to want to learn and love coming to your class.

The content and well thought-out planning of the course. The manner in which it was delivered. And, finally, the time to collaborate with peers during the training.

Realizing that the online material was just the digital textbook and that I was free to creatively add materials and activities that are relevant to the core material. Being able to spend time writing lesson plans for parts of my courses. Hearing ideas from Eric and seeing great ideas from my colleagues.

How does this workshop compare with your previous PD experiences?
This workshop has to be one of the best or the best workshops I have been too. I appreciate that the entire workshop was not just “sit and get” like many of the other PDs I’ve been to.

To be totally honest, I thought I was going to go into the training and be bored. I found it interesting, engaging and I really wanted to be there. Compared to many other PD experiences I have had, I found it refreshing and exciting.

Compares favorably–I usually don’t meet content experts who are also good facilitators.

Definitely better than most. I appreciated the willingness to accept feedback and modify the course based on our suggestions and the hard work that was put into development.

100% times better

Waaay better and more useful than ANY pd I have been a part of EVER!

Much, much better – mainly because we’re training on material and concepts and practices that we will be using, not talking about things we might use someday.


Additional Thoughts?
I very much appreciate the demeanor of the folks from GLM.
Thank you, thank you, thank you… I appreciate your patience and ongoing generosity and support
I love this program and can’t wait to see the results.
Great training, but the curriculum that you all have created is pretty awesome.
I was nervous and frustrated going into the PD and wasn’t sure how the experience would help me prepare for the second session of summer school, but I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you Eric and Stephanie!

With gratitude to our Signature Program Sponsors

1535 N. Dayton Street

Chicago, IL 60642 USA

(312) 643-0991


For additional information, contact:

Sheryl Curcio
[email protected]
(312) 925-3357

UrbanX Learning is a not for profit, charitable organization formed under
Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.