In 2006 the MacArthur Foundation began thinking about the design for 21st-century learning environments that would match the needs of children growing up in a digital, information-rich era. The Foundation partnered with Katie Salen, executive director of the Institute of Play, a nonprofit that applies the principles of game development outside the world of commercial gaming, and with New Visions for Public Schools, an education reform organization in New York City. Together, this partnership created the design for Quest to Learn (Q2L), a school that opened its doors to its first class in the fall of 2009 with 76 sixth graders. The school began adding a subsequent grade each year after 2009. The idea behind Q2L is to engage students from a diversity of backgrounds through game-like learning, which draws on the intrinsic qualities of games and their design to engage students in a deep exploration of academic subject matter. The founding team hopes that this design will create a framework that motivates and engages urban students, who are all too often disconnected and alienated from traditional brick-and-mortar comprehensive high schools.
Quest to Learn
351 W 18th St
New York, New York
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