How to Build the Best High Schools, Ever

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Adolescence is a time of fiery, creative developmental energy. We are primed to explore, discover, argue, build, create, and dream. We must do these things so that normal development can take place. Typical high schools are obstacles to this period of growth; they stunt development rather than ignite it and are often places that the love of learning goes to die. Modern high schools can be different. They can be developmental, engaging, and interesting places with more ‘reality’ and activity.

Text of How to Build the Best High Schools, Ever

  • 1. How to Build the Best High Schools, Ever Organized by James Moudry jamesmoudry@postoakschool.org SXSWedu 2015 Resource 1
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  • 3. The root of the problem is a school experience that is essentially passive, fragmented, and based on skills. Ale Kohn The Schools Our Children Deserve (1999) 3
  • 4. Drudgery is the feeling that what one is doing is important to future goals, but pursuing those goals is not motivating or enjoyable at the moment. Dr. Kevin Rathunde Professor Researcher: Optimal Experience University of Utah 4
  • 5. The Antidote for Drudgery is Reality 5
  • 6. If students do not feel emotionally connected to their school, if they do not feel that adults at the school care about them, if they dont feel that teachers are trying to teach them, and not just the content, students simply do not put in the requisite effortand they do not learn, at least not up to their potential. John Chubb, President, National Association of Independent Schools, USA October 3, 2013 Engagement Matters 6
  • 7. Adaptability ...this is the most essential quality; for the progress of the world is continually opening new careers, and at the same time closing or revolutionizing the traditional types of employment. Dr. Maria Montessori Physician Educator Author, From Childhood to Adolescence (1948) 7
  • 8. Many of the kids graduating from college these days are going to hold a number of different jobs in their lives, and many of those jobs have not yet been invented. For a world like that, whats the best education? Seems to me its a very general education that enables you to think critically. -Hunter Rawlings, NewYorkTimes, 2013 President,Association of American Universities 8
  • 9. Coming into this school I did not know much about what it would be like, so in a way I was taking a gamble. It paid off. -student 9
  • 10. Student-Center Choice Reality Independence Activity Environment provides 10
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  • 13. Measuring Engagement 13
  • 14. The teachers know how to challenge the students and the community is extremely supportive. -student 14
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  • 35. Museum Park Super Neighborhood 35
  • 36. Joel Bartsch President of the Houston Museum of Natural Science 36
  • 37. I see great potential for students to benet from focused relationships with curators and staff at the museum buildingon their coursework through real, behind-the-scenes experience with top professionals in the country. 37
  • 38. Working closely with studentsalso benets the museum, furthering our mission to enhance in citizens an interest in natural science. 38
  • 39. Paleontology Intern 39
  • 40. Marine Biology Intern 40
  • 41. Entomology Intern 41
  • 42. Psychology Intern 42
  • 43. Exhibit Docents 43
  • 44. High School Survey of Student Engagement University of Indiana, USA 44
  • 45. HSSSE seeks to assess the extent to which high school students engage in education practices associated with high levels of learning and development. 45
  • 46. Since 2004 500 schools 40 states 400,000 students 46
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