This is our second year in Real World Learning at Mile High Academy. During that time, teachers have explored topics such as podcasting, clean water filtration systems, local refugee populations, and career leadership.
Each of these subjects asks the students to imagine they are the project managers. They have to research, understand the tasks, take charge of the outcomes. It’s easy to imagine a high school class taking this on, but how about asking a group of third graders to do the same.
With Real World Learning (RWL), teachers lead students on a journey of discovery, and this can work for any age. Because, this can mean that ultimately the project does not end where the students imagined it might, but that’s real life. Part of RWL is problem solving these outcomes and figuring out a new way to go and how that changes the outcome. Also, by interacting with authentic audiences, peers, community leaders, faculty, parents, they get feedback on whether they are heading in the right direction or need to change along the way. And sometimes failure happens.
However, failure is just another opportunity for students to learn what works and what doesn’t, receiving feedback from teachers and peers and then being able to move on to the next step in order to create a better product, a brighter solution, find areas of improvement, this is growth.
The focus in education today is in preparing students that can lead, fall and get back up, collaborate with peers, and find solutions to problems that haven’t even been thought up.
The latest education surveys are coming back and they aren’t asking for better test scores, instead they are asking for what we already offer here at MHA. “When it comes to judging a school’s quality, what matters most? A new poll suggests the American public puts a premium on offerings outside of traditional academics, including career-focused education, developing students’ interpersonal skills…” (Richmond)
Yes, we will continue to provide academics that push our students, but we also want them to have those intangible skills that make them amazing out in the world. “Employers are clamoring for well-qualified workers who not only have solid academic and technical skills but are also innovative problem solvers who can fill the jobs of the future.” (Adams)
Let’s give our students all the tools they deserve!
-Agape Hammond, Director of Marketing
Adams, Carlee. “Does Your STEM Curriculum Teach These 4 Skills? (Students Need Them in the Real World). https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/stem-curriculums-teach-skills-students-need/
Richmond, Emily. “New Poll: Public Values Career Classes, Support Services at Schools”. Education Writers Association. https://www.ewa.org/blog-educated-reporter/new-poll-public-values-career-classes-support-services-schools