About the Center for City Building Education

The Center for City Building Educational Programs was incorporated in 1974 as a 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Corporation. It continues to be an active organization that is devoted to training K-12 teachers, from any subject field, nationally and internationally in the Doreen Nelson method of Design Based Learning (DBL).


What We Do

Evaluate Results

  • Develop a longitudinal study of MA graduates to determine the longevity and extent of DBL usage 
  • Track students from a random group of teachers to learn what they are doing today and how DBL has enriched their understanding of the world 
  • Study teacher effectiveness in training others in various elements of DBL
  • Learn the "diaspora" of DBL today from its inception in 1969 (how many students, school districts, where, etc.)
  • Identify successful DBL teacher and document their stories
  • Compile qualitative and quantitative results from DBL classrooms  
  • Develop evaluative tools for assessing higher level thinking skills in the areas of social justice and democratic problem-solving 


Develop Teacher Leaders, DBL Fellows

  • Maintain and expand the expertise of DBL graduates
  • Set up a networking system to share classroom practice
  • Establish peer observation and coaching of classroom practice
  • Develop graduates of DBL as trainers for professional staff development 
  • Build a cadre of DBL teachers who can be hired in universities and post secondary institutions 
  • Co-write articles with teachers
  • Showcase best classroom practice


Expand DBL Practice

  • Offer 120 hour certificate program to train teachers in the DBL methodology 
  • Offer one day professional development at school sites 
  • Offer a wider variety of general classes wanting to learn the DBL methodology  
  • In-service administrators/principals/parents to gain support for teachers
  • Broaden the program to an Out-of State audience


Board Of Directors

Doreen Gehry Nelson


Alan Mandell

Vice President

Bobbi Mapstone


Alejandro Gehry


Marcia Melkonian


2018–2019 Contributors

over $100,000

San Gabriel Unified School District


Thomas Safran


Susan & Jaime Gesundheit


Alan Mandell

Susan Morehead

Doreen Nelson

Abby Sher


Tom and Kamala Buckner

Bobbi Mapstone

Ruth Glatt

*Consider becoming a contributor to The Center for City Building Education –Design-Based Learning a 501(c) 3, a tax deductible Non-Profit Corporation. 11331 Farlin Street Los Angeles, CA 90049    

Founding Supporters

American Bar Association 

Apple Computer

California Arts Council

Charitable Lead Trust

Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation

Helen Watson Buckner


Leslie and Nicholas Stoltz Family

National Endowment for the Art 

Participating School Districts

Smithsonian Institution

United States Office of Education

University Southern California (USC)