Given: student-centered, deeper learning is easier to deliver at lower grade levels.
Given: College admissions practices continue to keep high schools more “in the box” of a worn out learning model.
What if we stopped wringing our hands over things we can’t control, and changed what we can? That appears to have been the case at Melbourne Girl’s Grammar school in Melbourne, Australia, according to this must-watch TEDx talk by their leader, Catherine Mission, soon to be Principal of Havergal College school in Toronto. (HT to Garth Nichols at Havergal for sharing this with me.)
Catherine’s short talk focuses on a remarkable personalized learning structure in the high school (Senior Program) that allows students to design and own their program, schedule, learning pathway, and more. They don’t just talk about wellness and physical fitness; they have entire pillars of differentiated learning supported by coaching staff, and each girl develops her own program for those critical foci as well as their academic program.
I have not dug into the school, but from what I can tell from their website, this is a well-respected school whose graduates go on to do well in post-secondary pursuits, and they have completely disrupted the traditional high school operating system. If you are struggling with how to square the principles of great learning with the rigidity of out-dated high schools, check this out and steal from them!