What we believe
Computer science and software engineering are skills of the 21st century – they develop the kind of thinking that everyone needs to be successful: analytic thinking, creative problem solving, effective teamwork.
We believe that even more important than any single skill set is our ability to use skills effectively to have an impact on our world: to understand what skills are needed when, to identify and understand the needs of communities and clients, and work strategically and creatively to address those needs. Classes at BASE pose real-world challenges and challenge students to use their disciplinary knowledge to make real changes to the world we live in.
We believe that teaching and learning are inherently political acts, and school have a responsibility to address societal inequity. We work to foster a community-centered STEAM/Liberal Arts and Design program to introduce students in the Bronx to the fields of computer science and software engineering, in which minorities and girls are vastly underrepresented.
Technology and computer science at BASE
Challenge-based learning across the disciplines
The core of instruction at BASE across all content areas is challenge-based learning: we ask our students to confront meaningful, authentic problems pulled from industry, the disciplines, and their lives. Our learning framework is based on Design Thinking, a problem-solving methodology our students (and staff!) use to work through challenges across all disciplines. Students go through the stages of Design Thinking whenever they face design challenges, including understanding context, defining problems, prototyping and testing.
Seminar and Transformative Justice
The BASE community is as important to us as our academic program, represented in both our Seminar class and our use of Transformative Justice as an alternative to traditional models of school discipline. Seminar class is the home base for every one of our students, and virtually every teacher teaches one. These groups meet daily for students to set academic and personal goals, check in on progress, and support each other, learning to be accountable to each other and the BASE community.
Transformative Justice is a set of practices for dealing with conflict in the community. We believe that when harm is done at BASE, it affects the entire community. TJ circles give all those affected by harm the opportunity to address the issue, describe their role in what happened, listen to each other, and heal.