(2014-04-16) Schank Redesigning High School Career Prep Excitement

Roger Schank suggests Redesigning High School for Career Prep (Vo-Tech, Making A Living) via Engagement/excitement.

We need some clearly defined outcomes first, so let’s state upfront that there are some core skills that must be learned in any Curriculum but that these are not the ones that we usually talk about when we go through the usual litany of mathematics, science, history and literature. I assume, therefore that for any curriculum I discuss below, there will be a heavy component of reading, writing, teamwork and reasoning. And, I assume that reasoning would include, planning, prediction, judgment, evaluation and other core cognitive skills I have discussed in the past. (TeachingMinds, Teachers College Press.)

The goal is to get students excited about something. This means that students would be offered the option of working on projects with clearly defined goals in the following areas... This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. It is meant to reflect the range of jobs one can have in the world. We can always make it bigger. Some of the terms above are quite general. So, by “business” one could mean wholesale, retail, investment banking, insurance and a range of other things. The idea is to enable a student to do any of those that a student chooses to do.

The first year of high school therefore would have no classes, no tests, and no grades.

In the student’s final year they choose one thing and stick to it.


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