Sunday, February 23, 2014

Could this be learning activity in non-school program?

I get my ideas by learning from others. It's an on-going process that I started over 40 years ago. It's been enhanced over the past 16 years by my active engagement with others via the Internet. I've been part of a Deeper Learning MOOC #DLMOOC since January 20, 2014 and in my email every day I get 10 to 20 posts from other participants. I can't look at them all, but I try to look at some.

Thus, today, this video was posted, showing a learning activity taking place in 2007. With so much emphasis on STEM, critical thinking, problem solving, etc. this seems like a great activity that could be taking places in a school, or in a non-school program.

Between 2000 and 2011 a partnership existed between Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin and Cabrini Connections, the tutor/mentor program in Chicago that I led from 1992 to mid 2011. The main event in this partnership was a three-day summer workshop organized by grad students and faculty at Edgewood College, which was presented at the Cabrini Connections facility in Chicago. This blog article describes the 2011 event.

This story from 2004 is one showing the Edgewood Collge program. It describes the planning process. "In collaboration with Cabrini Connections, a tutoring and mentoring agency, Edgewood students help youths evaluate their lives and develop long-term goals. Cabrini-Green children then travel to Edgewood College, where they take part in activities meant to guide them toward a brighter future."

If a college can develop this type of program and keep it going for over a decade, why can't other colleges duplicate the program described in this video, and partner with youth organizations in high poverty neighborhoods, making it a summer learning activity, or a year round learning activity?

While it would be great to think this might become part of the curriculum of every Chicago Public School serving youth in high poverty neighborhoods, "Hell might freeze over before that is a reality." Volunteers from businesses and colleges can bring this learning into these neighborhoods by by-passing the bureaucracy of schools and the education establishment and making it part of innovative non-school youth serving organizations.

If you're already doing this please offer a workshop in the May 19, 2014 (and future) Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference held in Chicago so you can help inspire others to duplicate this effort.

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