There is something very powerful that happens when young people are given a chance to reflect on their own education and share visions of what education and school can and should mean. This year my 12th Graders began the year by doing just that. The unit began with us all writing about and reflecting on deep or meaningful learning experiences in our own lives. We shared the experiences and then created a class definition of deep, meaningful learning. We then read School on a Hill from Harper’s Magazine, took a mock standardized test from City Kids, City Teachers, and listened to an NPR piece on Unschooling before students continued to research on their own.
Afterwards I introduced the format of the digital stories I was asking students to create. We brainstormed ideas as a class, they wrote scripts, we conferenced, and they had several days to create products investigating a range of education-related topics. Check out the website below to see some of the amazing results!