If you follow my Twitter or Facebook posts you might find my wildly enthusiastic references to PRAXIS. I simply love what Issac Morehouse and colleagues are providing young people by way of their apprenticeship program. It is a simple idea with impactful and dynamic results. See here: Praxis Homepage
After listening intently, to a quick 3:40 minute video that Issac produced on the two biggest takeaways of the apprenticeship model (posted on his Twitter page below), I had a revelation of sorts.
What if K-12 learning was built on the apprenticeship model?
Foundational to this model would be a few non negotiables. I have listed them for your consideration.
- Student directed
- Student interests
- Ability to create value
- Ability to demonstrate value
- Non graded
- Working with varying age groups
Imagine highly sought after learning coaches (more than one) working with their apprentices in this manner. Imagine children and young people learning from doing, thinking, questioning, experiencing, observing and making redeemable mistakes free of evaluation or grades. Imagine how far they could go in this environment.
We as a nation, mistakenly equate test scores, report cards, and GPA’s as evidence that learning has occurred. That kind of learning fails to last beyond the end game. We hold young people to a very low bar of consume and regurgitate on demand. Sure kids can remember a few basics and appear to have successfully navigated the K-12 system. However, businesses, potential employers, and a hungry market for innovative entrepreneurs can see right through the facade of resume data. They are looking for bright ideas and we are giving them burned-out light bulbs.
Real and authentic learning lasts a lifetime. It adds value to the world. Learners with bright ideas don’t typically come from old light bulb factories.
Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of the learners. Think about it!