Friday, June 2, 2017

Reinventing High School (Stacy Teicher Khadaroo) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Reinventing High School (Stacy Teicher Khadaroo) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Reinventing High School (Stacy Teicher Khadaroo)

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“Stacy is an education reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. She writes primarily for the Monitor’s EqualEd section and also covers youth issues, civil rights, justice, and gender. Based in Nashua, N.H., she currently reserves two days a week to focus on her young son and daughter.”
This post originally appeared in the CSM
May 21, 2017 MANCHESTER, N.H.—Two-dozen high school students are gathered around a large work table as manufacturing teacher Dan Cassidy holds out boxes of metal bars and gears. The students choose among the parts to build model bicycles. “What else are we going to use today? Let me hear some vocab here,” he says. When a student shouts out “chains,” he nudges them until they recall another term for it: “linkage.”
This isn’t a manufacturing class. It’s actually a combined geometry and physical science class. While clusters of students work at stations assembling miniature two-wheelers, others rotate through a lesson on the computer and reason through a problem about parallel triangles the old-fashioned way – with paper and pencil. Mr. Cassidy and co-teacher Athanasia Robinson, whose specialty is math, circulate and check on everyone’s progress.
“I have a really hard time just sitting in a class and focusing on a teacher and writing notes,” says sophomore Hope Nichols as she and a purple-haired classmate bolt together a bike. “But here, everything is hands-on … or I can kind of teach myself, which I really prefer.”
Students rarely see textbooks here at the Manchester School of Technology High School (MST-HS), a low-slung utilitarian building a few miles from the river where high-tech businesses occupy former textile mills. In most classes, they don’t get standard letter grades. They don’t automatically move on to the next level at the end of the school year, but instead advance once they have mastered the material. Students buttress their classroom learning with real-world experiences – such as building a house or working as a chef – to help prepare for future careers.
Welcome to what, in some ways, may be a prototype of the high school of Reinventing High School (Stacy Teicher Khadaroo) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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