Challenge Based Learning

“It’s difficult to foresee and teach specific topics of the future, but we can give students essential tools for lifelong learning and adaptability so seeking knowledge and the understanding of new things is never out of reach.”

What is

Our Philosophy


Glarea Elevated Learning, a private school in Surrey, integrates a Challenge Based Learning program with Sport and Art expert streams in a technologically innovative educational environment. Through an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education, the Elevated Learning program focuses on self-awareness through cognitive, social-emotional and physical literacy rooted in perseverance.

We face challenges on a daily basis and our responses determine our future. Often, we don’t pause to consider different perspectives and design thoughtful solutions. Challenge Based Learning is a learning framework used to equip students with the skills necessary to identify challenges and develop innovative and sustainable solutions.

Elevated Learning drives Glareans to aspire to be self-aware, critical thinkers prepared for the future. Resiliency, determination and fortitude of character are woven into the fabric of Glarea.

Our Graduates are confident, adaptable young adults prepared to overcome life’s challenges.

At Glarea we are committed to enriching our community through anti-racist awareness in our programming, curriculum and partnerships.



“Grit is a powerful trait to cultivate in ourselves. It is what urges us to get up, dust ourselves off and try again.”

  • The CBL cycle intuitively builds and reinforces the grit mentality by removing a fear of failure and replacing it with a passion to pursue excellence.
  • The CBL philosophy builds grit by expanding a students’ comfort zone through experience and variable exposure to new things, or even just by giving them a new perspective.


CBL Learning

Glarea Ecosystem

At any time in the CBL cycle the Instructor, Parent or Student can be both Teacher or Learner. By flattening the hierarchy the learning system becomes fluid and in turn more efficient and effective.

Varied External experts are included to offer new perspectives, knowledge and insight instilling an essential life lesson that it’s not only OK to seek guidance, but also how to objectively assess and apply that information.

Reaffirm the Image of a Child by respecting their unlimited potential and understanding that we are all a product of our childhood experiences.

CBL Learning

framework & Progression

Challenge Based Learning is a flexible framework, with each implementation, new ideas surface, the framework is reviewed, and the model evolves. Challenge Based Learning provides:

1. A flexible and customizable framework that can be implemented as a guiding pedagogy or integrated with other progressive approaches to learning

2. A scalable model with multiple points of entry and the ability to start small and build big

3. A free and open system with no proprietary ideas, products or subscriptions

4. A process that places all Learners in charge, and responsible for the learning

5. An authentic environment for meeting academic standards and making deeper connections with content

6. A focus on global ideas, meaningful challenges and the development of local and age appropriate solutions

7. An authentic relationship between academic disciplines and real world experience

8. A framework to develop 21st-century skills

9. Purposeful use of technology for researching, analyzing, organizing, collaborating, networking, communicating, publishing and reflecting

10. The opportunity for Learners to make a difference now

11. A way to document and assess both the learning process and products

12. An environment for deep reflection on teaching and learning

Glarea + CBL in action

The Challenge Based Learning Framework is divided into three interconnected phases: Engage, Investigate, and Act. Each phase includes activities that prepare the Learners to move to the next stage. Supporting the entire process is an ongoing process of documenting, reflecting and sharing.


Through a process of Essential Questioning, the Learners move from an abstract Big Idea to a concrete and actionable Challenge.

  1. Big Idea
  2. Essential Question
  3. Challenge

2. investigate

All Learners plan and participate in a journey that builds the foundation for Solutions and addresses academic requirements.

  1. Guiding Questions
  2. Guiding Activities/Resources
  3. Analysis

3. Act

Evidence-based Solutions are developed, implemented with an authentic audience, and then evaluated based on the results. 

  1. Solution
  2. Implementation
  3. Evaluation

"We are all Learners. We are all teachers. By moving beyond the traditional hierarchy of the school and classroom, we can create environments where all stakeholders are working together to meet academic objectives while solving authentic challenges."

Around the world hundreds of millions of people are involved in formal education. For a majority of these Learners, the focus is on acquiring knowledge and skills necessary to move to the next level and eventually enter the world as a productive member of society. Challenge Based Learning provides a framework for participants to accomplish this while building 21st century skills, developing a framework for life-long learning, and making an immediate impact on the world.

Imagine millions of empowered Learners focused on creating solutions to local and global Challenges as part of their school work. The world becomes a better place.

Take action. Make a difference.

Nichols, M., Cator, K., and Torres, M. (2016) Challenge Based Learner User Guide. Redwood City, CA: Digital Promise.

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