In class we watched the film Most Likely to Succeed. This is a documentary that explores education in America and how the education system was designed a century ago during the Industrial Age. The American education system has not changed to meet the evolving global economy.
The focus of the documentary is on a school in San Diego called High Tech High that is rethinking the expectations of what type of experience a school should provide for students and what skills they should be teaching. The school has grown in popularity and is now serving over 5,000 students across four locations through a zip code/lottery system from diverse backgrounds. There are lots of hand on group projects for students based on their individual passions and interests. This allows students to take ownership of their choices and contributions and work with other students to make group decisions.
Personally, I had a positive experience in the public education system from K-12. I have always loved school. However, upon graduation I was very confused about what to do next. I enrolled in university immediately, but I was not ready and performed quite poorly in most of my classes. After taking time off to travel and working a variety of jobs I sort of figured out what I wanted to take in school. It has honestly taken me 13 years since graduating to actually figure out that I truly want to be a teacher. I see this as an opportunity for the education system. I think there should be more opportunities for students to engage in meaningful and relevant work that prepares them for future vocations. I appreciate what High Tech High is doing, because they are challenging the status quo and it appears to have positive outcomes. I guess time and research will give more hard evidence, but you have to start somewhere!