ISTE 2019Creative
Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
No Fear
Coding Lab
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Developing Classrooms Around Holistic Phenomenon-Based Learning

Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 18

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Wednesday, June 27, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 18

Jonathan Jarc   Leah LaCrosse   Richard Perry   Julie Willcott  
We need to change the way education is delivered. Phenomenon-based learning is a holistic approach that begins with teaching by topics, builds on natural curiosity, and incorporates digital technology. Our approach builds on phenomenon-based learning with collaboration across diverse content areas and between geographically dispersed schools.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective


The purpose of this presentation is to provide specific examples of holistic learning in the classroom, and to provide educators and administrators with resources to implement holistic phenomenon-based learning within their schools.

Learning Objectives

1 What is holistic learning? How can classroom learning be centered around topics or phenomenons?
2 What does holistic learning look like in the classroom? How might phenomenon-based learning be implemented in STEM, english, and art classrooms?
The proposed poster will be presented by a panel of educators who believe that change is needed in how education is delivered. Individually and collaboratively these educators have introduced phenomenon-based learning into their classrooms. Phenomenon-based learning is a holistic approach that begins with teaching by topics, builds on natural curiosity, and incorporates digital technology. Presenters will demonstrate how they have incorporated phenomenon-based learning into their unique learning environments. The presentation will include classroom examples from diverse content areas including science, english, and art. It will incorporate examples from Ohio, New York, and Maine middle schools, high schools, and community college - both public and private schools.


The poster will be presented by a team of educators.

Presenters will provide the definition of phenomena-based learning as it takes place in their unique learning environments.

Presenters will provide specific examples of what holistic learning looks like in their diverse classrooms. These examples will include projects that cut across content areas.

Presenters will speak to the resources and support that are needed for phenomena-based learning to be successfully implemented in the classroom.

Supporting research

Worldwide, educators are looking to improve the educational experience for students.

Finland is often cited as a model for educational reform. As noted in the article referenced below, “The next big reform taking place in Finland is the introduction of a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF). … The concept of “phenomenon-based” teaching – a move away from “subjects” and towards inter-disciplinary topics – will have a central place in the new NCF.”

Phenomenon-based learning builds on project-based learning which has gained momentum in the United States during the last twenty years.

One of the defining features of phenomenon-based learning is teaching across content areas. This cross-curricular teaching is designed to promote deeper learning.

More [+]


Jonathan Jarc, Saint Ignatius High School
Leah LaCrosse, Huron City Schools
Richard Perry, Bellmore-Merrick CHSD
Julie Willcott, Kennebec Valley Community College

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