Project-Based Learning at High-Tech High

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About Sean Thompson

Sean has accepted a position as the Director of Technology at The Early Learning Centre, City School, in Bangkok. He is excited to be working with Giovanni Piazza and the rest of the staff to raise awareness of digital-age teaching and learning practice in this Reggio Emilia inspired environment. Sean is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, an International Baccalaureate Educator Network Workshop Leader and a Google Educator available for professional development at your school.
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One Response to Project-Based Learning at High-Tech High

  1. Clair Wain says:

    Dear Sean

    Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed watching it again. Larry Rosenstock appears to be a very forward thinking man. He seems to have a great belief in his students and his school and a passion for his beliefs. His interview reminds of words from Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia Pre-schools,

    “Hands and minds would engage each other with great, liberating merriment in the way ordained by biology and evolution”

    The web site for the school is also quite interesting. It appears that the school was set up in 2000 and includes a whole network of schools now, including primary schools. This is an abstract from their mission overview.

    “High Tech High has distilled the six NUHS design principles to four: personalization, adult world connection, and common intellectual mission, teacher as designer. Responding directly to the needs of students, all three principles connect to the broad mission of preparation for the adult world. Moreover, all three call for structures and practices that schools do not now routinely employ. High Tech High has also created a more recent design principle, known as teacher as designer. The design principles permeate every aspect of life at High Tech High: the small size of the school, the openness of the facilities, the personalization through advisory, the emphasis on integrated, project-based learning and student exhibitions, the requirement that all students complete internships in the community, and the provision of ample planning time for teacher teams during the work day.”
    I found Rebekah Madrid’s comments interesting too, (hopefully I am paraphrasing her opinions accurately and as they were intended) when she made the point that educators may say they believe in this style of education yet, it often appears that these highly innovative schools are established for the ‘failing’ children so possibly it is seen that there is nothing to loose. The schools where the ‘successful’ children go, where they are already achieving the agreed benchmarks, continue in the traditional way, maybe because there is an unsettling belief that if they try something different it is too risky. I had not considered this point of view before, and it has given me food for thought.
    Thanks
    Clair

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