The primary task of school is to keep that connection with joyful learning vibrant and intact. The second task is to expand the horizons of learners – to provide opportunity, to create new contexts and scaffold the learner’s ability to reach higher, further and deeper.
As students move into the older grades they are introduced to the intellectual and academic disciplines in more formal and demanding ways. A curriculum and a community must be vigorous and rigorous while maintaining that vital connection between love and learning.
When students move into high school they confront requirements, credits and credit distribution and all the other “stuff” that goes with secondary education and preparation for college. Choice and flexibility become even more important. As students develop their passions and interests school must continue to broaden horizons as well as create opportunities for personalized and independent learning.
If we want to graduate students who are “intellectually curious and active seekers, users and creators of knowledge” then we must structure the curriculum and the school day to make that possible. That means student engagement with their own learning, choice and flexibility. PDS has expanded its high school curriculum with these values in mind. Take a look.