Quest Schools

A pioneering new model for school that fully engages and empowers students to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century

Designed by Institute of Play and firmly grounded in over thirty years of learning research,the Quest school model re-imagines school as one node in an ecology of learning that extends beyond the four walls of an institution and engages kids in ways that are exciting, empowering and culturally relevant.

Quest Schools’ unique standards-based integrated curriculum mimics the action and design principles of games by generating a compelling “need to know” in the classroom. Each trimester students encounter a series of increasingly complex challenges or quests, where learning, knowledge sharing, feedback, reflection and next steps emerge as a natural function of play.

The first instance of the Quest schools model, Quest to Learn opened its doors as a NYC public school to its first class of sixth graders in 2009. It now operates a full middle school—grades six through eight—and opened an upper school for grade nine in 2012. It will grow by one grade per year to offer a full middle and upper school education by 2015.

Quest to Learn was joined in 2011 by a second instance of the Quest school model in Chicago, CICS ChicagoQuest.

For more information on the design and development of Quest Schools, the design document for Quest to Learn is available as a free downloadable pdf.