The Science Leadership Academy (SLA) is a small selective-admission high school in the School District of Philadelphia. The school is grounded in values of inquiry and care, and distinguishes itself with its inquiry-driven and project-based pedagogy, its use of technology, and its partnership with The Franklin Institute (TFI), a Philadelphia-based science museum and educational center. In the spring of 2011, TFI and SLA commissioned Research for Action (RFA) to conduct a pilot study of its activities focusing on:
(1) the SLA educational and partnership model to inform strategies for replication, and
(2) the experiences of the Class of 2010 and how they fared in their first postsecondary year.
This is one of two research briefs produced by RFA to report on findings from the 10-month, mixed-method pilot study. The second, “The First Graduating Class of the Science Leadership Academy: Class of 2010,” addresses the high school and first-year college experiences of SLA’s first graduating class.