Our Vision

Deep Thinking, Imagination, and Creativity

In 2006, Elizabeth McDaniel - then a primary school teacher with interest in philosophy for children and deeper learning - opened the doors to Discovery Day Academy - first in Clewiston, Florida, and then adding a second campus in the City of Bonita Springs. Her passion for making an impact on education was realized through an independent lab school for teaching and learning research. She created a Cognitive Project Based Learning Model (C-PBL).  The model focuses on inquiry, deeper learning, and authentic experiences.  It evolves through an iterative process, based upon evolving research and global learning standards, remaining at the forefront of education.

Makers Gonna Make

Students experience learning by exploring, tinkering, and discovering, through Design Thinking.  Our Makerspace, Mobile Learning Lab, Student Curated Natural History Museum, and Soil-to-Plate school garden nurture the imagination of each student.  As researchers, they document and create their learning, in an environment where it is preserved and celebrated.

How Do We Integrate
Memory Research and Critical Thinking Skills?

How Do We Integrate Memory Research and Critical Thinking Skills?

Retrieval Practice, Thinking Routines, and Philosophy for Children

Cognitive science is central to our curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment design, with a focus on long-term memory retention. Concepts such as looping, spacing, and interleaving are core strategies of retrieval practice. Cognitive Project-Based Learning (C-PBL) topics are looped, and revisited over time, to aid in student recall. Research supports assessment design that includes the interleaving of question types, at Discovery Day Academy we provide opportunities for drawing, mapping, and memory recall in other creative formats. Equally, we approach critical thinking skills with intentionality, through thinking routines and Philosophy for Children.

Our founder's contributions to this work, published by Edutopia, The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Our founder's contributions to this work, published by Edutopia,
The George Lucas Educational Foundation

“A Starter’s Guide to PBL Fieldwork” – September 25th, 2017

“Hoist the Sails: The Great Quest for a Play-Based Classroom” – November 3rd, 2016

“Preparing a Classroom Culture for Deeper Learning” – March 12th, 2015

“Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom” – December 2nd, 2014