The pedagogical engine of the Renaissance Foundry Model is a result of the evolution of two previous models: The High-Performance Learning Environments (Hi-PeLETM) and the Composer Style Engineer.

The High-Performance Learning Environment (Hi-PeLETM)

The Hi-PeLETM is a student-centric learning approach guided by the principle that “…every time that an instructor-based explanation is replaced by a student-based activity, we are bringing an effective learning environment to the students” (Arce, 2009). The acronym was selected because the soccer player Pele epitomizes high performance in the world’s most popular sport.  This principle is inspired by the notion first stated by Papert wherein, “the scandal of education is that every time you teach something you deprive a [student]of the pleasure and discovery of learning.”

The Hi-PeLETM construction is based on five tools: problem solving, experimental prototypes, industrial contacts, teamwork, and communication. The Hi-PeLETM the instructor functions as a coach or a facilitator of learning. Furthermore, incorporating experimental prototypes and industrial contacts into a “classroom” course opens avenues for enhancing and reinforcing problem solving, teamwork, and communication.

The Composer Style Engineer

A “composer style” engineer with a commanding knowledge of the fundamentals (as the composer needs to show a deep command of content knowledge) together with an effective integration of other skills including communication, managerial effectiveness, business economics, and social relevance (as the composer needs to know the audience which she or he is addressing) is a more enthusiastic and promising engineer-style of professional. Scholars have indicated that this new type of engineering professional is more along the lines of a “holistic-style” engineer.