Let kids rule the school

What would happen if kids ruled the school?  Would chaos ensue?  Or would students motivate themselves, engage and actually … learn something?

The results of just such an endeavor in Western Massachusetts suggests the latter.  Eight public high school students aged 15-17 were allowed to create their own “school within a school.”  They designed curriculum; set expectations; and held each other accountable.  The result?  They learned.  One student who had previously considered dropping out found he was so engaged in one history topic that he couldn’t bear to stop working on it when it was time to move on.  Another who had failed his previous math courses ended up teaching the other students about probability.  You can read the NY Times OpEd piece here.

This experiment shows there are many opportunities to find ways to engage our students in learning, motivating them and opening their minds to the possibilities out there.  We’re in a time of shrinking resources and other challenges; many say this will decimate our education system.  It may – as it stands now.  But that doesn’t mean the education we provide will be decimated.  This experiment in letting kids rule the school is just one way we can open our minds to new approaches and alternatives to enhance education, getting our students involved to create new learning environments that are challenging, rewarding, and efficient.

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