Values-Driven Education-What Do We Believe?

Joshua Block/Gamal Sherif

1) What is your ideal school?

Collective ideas:
  • Best people
  • Growth model (Not Punitive)/Meaningful professional development
  • Community involvement
  • Advocacy
  • Nature
  • Connection to outside/nature
  • Open building/ community space
  • Versatile & open space
  • Heterogeneous groupings
  • Students working together
  • Inquiry

2) What values do these schools reflect?

  • Learning is interdisciplinary
  • School learning is connected to life learning
  • School should be accessible to community & a gathering place
  • Relationships should be sustained
  • Schools can enrich/transform society
  • Free exchange of ideas & experience
  • “Unfinishedness” (ideas & people need to continue to evolve)
  • Schools foster social & personal responsibility
  • Connection between human experience & natural world (interconnectedness)
  • Physical space should be flexible & reflect intentions (these can foster freedom)

3) What do we believe about the purpose of education in our society?
4) How do your classroom practices align with your values?

  • Values: This history project emphasizes student voice through their research and presentation of music. Students are asked to compare songs from different times and places and then discuss connections to African American history. The project also reflects attention to PA content and skills standards (Teacher Guide).
  • Teacher Guide:
  • Student work:

Crossing Boundaries Podcast:
  • Values: This English project takes a theme from the novel Passing written by Nella Larsen and uses the format of the radio show This American Life as a model. Within this framework students work together to create a radio show centered around the idea of crossing boundaries. After completing the novel there are classroom mini-lessons on interviewing skills and designing interview questions, analysis of the idea of boundaries, using Garage Band, editing an interview to make a coherent story, mixing in music to emphasize emotions and smooth transitions, and linking different stories as part of a larger show.
  • Understanding by Design Unit Outline
  • Sample student story (part of larger show):