The Boys Lab

The Boys Lab at Fairfield Country Day School advances best practices in teaching boys through professional development, programmatic innovation, parent education, and strategic partnerships.
Greetings from the Boys Lab!
In the final days of August, over twenty FCDS faculty members gathered at the Westport Library for the first annual Boys Lab Confab. At the two-day conference, they explored project-based learning (PBL), an essential, boy-friendly component of our School’s program. 
Why focus on PBL? Because boys love to collaborate, create, and undertake real-world work. PBL is the realization of FCDS’s Core Competencies––such as communication, critical thinking, and leadership––our School’s interpretation of 21st century teaching and learning. Building on the Boys Lab’s previous work, PBL leverages relational teaching, executive functioning, and student leadership.
On the first day, the Boys Lab tapped the expertise of Suffield Academy faculty member and PBL guru Bill Sullivan, who presented the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Education’s core pillars of PBL: 
Teachers then applied this framework to their own projects. Upper School science teacher Matt DuCharme shared his exemplary 7th grade project on human joints. Later, art teacher Elaine Klabonski presented her interdisciplinary project––an exploration of geometry through abstract art––that she, math teacher Kristina Barnaby, and art teacher Grace Connell presented earlier this summer at the International Boys’ School Coalition’s Conference in Montreal. Teachers conceived new projects and improved upon time-tested ones. They left the Confab buzzing with ideas for the coming school year.
FCDS teachers are our region’s experts in teaching young boys, and PBL is one of our tools. 
 -Jaime, Duncan, Porter, and Pen