EdTech / Pedagogy

Creating a School within a School

The school at which I teach does not have a summer program for high school students.  This will be the last year that is the case, as I’ve been asked to help design and implement a summer program for next year.  What makes this intriguing is that there is no mandate whatsoever for this program: no curricular mandates, no state mandates, nothing.  I am free to design something that might best appeal to both teachers and students.

So now comes the hard part.  I’d like to design something that incorporates new concepts of education with a focus on student engagement, collaboration, and technology.  A colleague of mine reminded me of the wonderful talk by Sir Ken Robinson.  It’s below:

I’d love to build something with this in mind, as it raises a whole host of questions.  Does this summer program even conform to the idea of “subjects?”  Might it be best to build the program around interdisciplinary studies into specific topics?  What type of schedule might best fit a program like that?  How might this program best implement technology, given that students tend to travel more in the summer and might periodically need to connect using electronic media?

All of these questions are going to need to be answered this summer so that a program can be ready to advertise to students (both at our school and other schools) by January.  Its going to be a long summer.

I’m starting this process by talking to as many educators as I can to determine what the ideal program might look like.  So, I ask the potentially tens of you out there who happen across this post:  What would the perfect summer program look like to you?  What would be the perfect situation in which to teach?  What would you want to teach, what type of facilities would you prefer, and what type of program would you break down the doors to be a part of?  

I’ll continue to update this blog on the progress of this plan.  Its an exciting time…

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