Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

When students rule the school?

Really interesting short film (15 minutes) about some students who created a school-within-a-school at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Called The Independent Project, the students designed their own curriculum and determined -- together -- how various subjects would be learned. In the end, a group of students who had been marginalized, unengaged and unenthused became engaged, active students interested in taking more responsibility for their own learning. And they learned the material, too!

A journalist who followed them wrote an interesting op-ed piece in the New York Times. She said:

The students in the Independent Project are remarkable but not because they are exceptionally motivated or unusually talented. They are remarkable because they demonstrate the kinds of learning and personal growth that are possible when teenagers feel ownership of their high school experience, when they learn things that matter to them and when they learn together. In such a setting, school capitalizes on rather than thwarts the intensity and engagement that teenagers usually reserve for sports, protest or friendship.

Check it out.

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