Thursday, June 19, 2014

Imagine a High School Where . . .

The mission is to ensure that students acquire knowledge and skills necessary for adulthood. Educators view their job as preparing students to be successful thirty-year olds.

Students are taught from the first day that their reason for being in school is not to take courses, earn credits, pass tests and follow teachers’ directions. It is to identify, develop and maximize their strengths, skills, talents and interests, so they can make their dreams come true. (This school devotes much time and energy to students’ dreams.)

Students can always describe what they are learning (not “doing”), why they are learning it, and how they can use it when they are no longer in school. They can do these things because their teachers, counselors and other adults in the school make them explicit.

Every student has an education/career plan, continually works on and revisits that plan; and curriculum, instruction and guidance programs support these student plans. The school is actually organized around these student plans. The curriculum is viewed as a vehicle to help make this occur, rather than as an end in itself.