Kids are the Proof: Students Engaged in Deeper Learning
By Lily Jones March 21, 2014
As a teenager, I remember feeling disengaged from high school. I was a passionate learner, always reading books and interested in learning about the world around me, but when I entered my classrooms, I sometimes felt a stunning disconnect.
In my senior year, I participated in an independent study program where I went to school in the morning and wrote a zine (self-published magazine) in the afternoon. I selected mentor teachers who supported me by giving feedback on my work, recommending reading, and holding me accountable for meeting my goals. At the end of my project, I presented my work and reflected on my process. The opportunity to pursue my passion with guidance from supportive teachers was invaluable.
Watching our new Deeper Learning series, I’m transported back to that high school experience where I was empowered to pursue learning that mattered to me. The series is rich with impressive teaching practices and innovative school models, but the kids are the “proof of impact” of these approaches.
Check out these student profiles and see what Deeper Learning looks like:
1. Diana: Real-World Internship (Big Picture Learning)
The opportunity to engage in a real-world internship is something I would have died for in high school. Watch Diana, a sophomore at San Diego MET High School, explain what she has learned through an internship at a local television station.
2. Edwina: Senior Presentation (Asia society’s International Studies Schools Network)
You will witness growth and assess social and academic learning as you watch high school senior Edwina share her high school experience through her senior presentation.
3. Yvonne: Portfolio Defense (Envision Education)
Yvonne demonstrates her learning through a College Success Portfolio Defense. She must answer questions from a teacher panel and reflect on her growth to graduate. Her reflective skills and poise are impressive.
4. Kristen: A STEM Learner (ConnectEd)
Watch high school student Kristen engage in Linked Learning, an approach that links strong academics with real-world experience. Kristen and her teachers share how she has grown as an engineer through project-based learning and by teaching younger students.
5. Hunter: A Self-Directed Learner (New Tech Network)
When students are allowed to follow interest-based paths, it’s fascinating to see what they’ll accomplish. In this video, Hunter, a student at Tech Valley High School, focuses on how he learned from his internship and became motivated to start his own business.
6. Faiza: Learning English Through Content (Internationals Network for Public Schools)
For English Language Learners content and language are often learned simultaneously. High school student Faiza discusses her experience as an English Language Learner and shares how she has grown and gained confidence in English while developing an academic mindset.
7. Savannah: A Personalized Experience (EdVisions)
Savannah, a student at Minnesota New Country School, shares how she meets her personalized learning plan through academic projects.
8. Marlina: Gaining Academic Courage (Expeditionary Learning)
Marlina, a student at Springfield Renaissance School, reflects on how she struggled at the beginning of high school and decided to leave Renaissance for another school. After experiencing a different high school, she comes back and works with teachers to cultivate an academic mindset as she struggles to meet her goals.
9. Maresa and Baylee: Collaborating to Make Change (High Tech High)
Watch Maresa and Baylee, 6th graders at High Tech Middle Media Arts School, work together to combat San Diego’s coastal pollution. After uniting for this cause, Maresa and Baylee create educational materials and make bracelets to raise money.