Design-Based Learning at Center X


The goal of Design-Based Learning at Center X is to introduce educators to the Design-Based Learning methodology through high quality professional development and coaching.

We work collaboratively with schools, districts, teachers, educational specialists, and administrators to support the development of engaging, socially conscious, student-centered, interdisciplinary curricula that address the needs of diverse learners while meeting grade level and content standards.


The Design-Based Learning at Center X Project applies and builds upon the Doreen Nelson Method of Design-Based Learning ™. Successfully taught in K–12 classrooms since 1971, this student-centered teaching methodology engages students in seeking and solving curriculum-based problems as they build a city or other small, contextual model in the classroom.

Design-Based Learning is structured around Essential Questions described in the standard K–12 curricula content. Encompassing all subject areas, Design-Based Learning is an interdisciplinary methodology that ignites creativity and motivates civic engagement to teach critical thinking and problem solving.


In a Design-Based Learning classroom, the teacher acts as a facilitator, observer, and guide. Students learn that their opinions count. They gain confidence in explaining and justifying their thinking as they try out ideas in a safe environment and find that there are many right answers and perspectives.

Design-Based Learning is a research-based methodology integrating civics and life skills to deliver the required K–12 curricula. Teachers have the flexibility to determine how and when to use a comprehensive sequence of connected, curriculum-related Design Challenges to teach the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Visual and Performing Arts Standards, English Language Development Standards, California History-Social Science Standards Framework, etc.

Upcoming Events


Upcoming Events

I am convinced that the work of building a sense of social responsibility is one of the biggest priorities of most educational leaders at the moment. Design-Based Learning not only exercises the mind and thinking skills, but builds the comfort, security, and confidence that working together builds better solutions. DBL brings the elements of exploration, critical thinking, planning, and building to not just support curriculum and standards, but to build that sense of cooperation and mutual responsibility to identify and develop solutions to problems of learning, life and community in a way like nothing I have seen.”

Jeff Seymour

Professor at Cal Poly Pomona and former Superintendent of El Monte City School District

Interested in Design-Based Learning?

We’re gathering interest for partnerships for the 2020-2021 school year. Please fill out our form!