Sunday, March 28, 2010

Emerging Implementation of ISAS conference for 2010-2011 school year

1. Betances had a phrase to empower minority-diverse-children:
"Proud blended heritage children." As a consequence of my attendance to the conference, I hope to be an asset builder of that type of understanding of diversity.

2. YAC and I will see Wagner's video in the company of some teachers and create a YAC performance rubric for next year. I look forward to the outcome of our FEDEX time (One B-block and lunch.) The focus questions of the meeting will be:
a. How do we evolve "service learning" from 'learning about those being served' to 'servers learning about themselves'?
b. How can we connect our personal ideals, interests and passions to our school work?
c. How is our school work related to change, social justice, and peace?,
d. How can we become resources for social action experiences to peers, faculty, family, and community?

I will use the "free" ALPS learned web as my collaborative lesson planning tool.

3. This summer my personal and professional goal is attending the Six Billion Paths to Peace retreat because I want to have a focused exploration with a Casady intergenerational team of the following three questions:
a.How does change become peace?
b.How does service shape peace?
c.How do people change through peace?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quest High School Service-Learning Program

In the area of service-learning, I started with a question: What is Service Learning at Quest High School? "I had no idea when I started this experience how much real learning I would actually do...So much of the understanding of something is not found in book or classroom experience. It was only when I could actually experience the learning that it held true understanding and meaning for me." (Excerpt from a Quest student's reflection) Service-learning at Quest High School is learning outside the classroom walls while meeting a genuine community need. Although Quest operates on a much smaller scale in terms of a school, with merely a fraction of students compared to Humble High School or Kingwood High School, it operates at a much larger scale in terms of character development and community interaction. At Quest, our curriculum-supported service-learning model helps students to practice and master both affective and cognitive objectives from our curriculum.This model involves application of learning in a real world context. In addition, this model has the added benefit of actually addressing a community need, therefore giving the learning a deeper, more personal meaning to students.

At Quest every Wednesday, Quest students go out into the community to engage in service-learning. Sites range from elementary schools where students tutor and mentor children to a nature park where students perform historical reenactments for elementary children. Other sites include rest homes, women's shelters, and other non-profits. What our students do on Wednesdays is done in the context of our curriculum. Service-learning also exists within our courses. (See the Water Testing Project) The capstone service-learning experience would be within the Senior Exploratory, conducted in the second semester of the Senior Exploratory Foundations Class. (See Senior Service Plans) This Senior Exploratory takes service-learning to a much deeper level, where students are engaged in social action. They research a social issue and address this social issue by designing and implementing a project. Once completed, they evaluate their project for its effectiveness and sustainability. Service-learning really allows students to "live" our mission, "Quest High School will provide a personalized learning experience in partnership with the community to create life-long learners and productive members of society."-----