Dr. Irvin's Weekly eNews, 11/9
Hello WGHS Families, I have recently connected with a book called Deeper Learning, written by researchers Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, in which they conducted observations and interviews of students and staff over six years from purportedly successful innovative high schools that were suggested as “leaders” in preparing students for the demands of twenty-first century life. Sadly, they noted most students experienced lack of engagement, and “bored, disengaged compliance” during their day. However, in these recommended model schools, pockets of vibrant learning settings and a “hidden curriculum” in extra-curricular and electives that allowed students to do deep learning and rise above the norm with intellectually dynamic experiences. Mehta and Fine observed “…we stumbled into spaces that initially lay outside of our study—art classes, debate club meetings, newspaper, Model UN, athletic practices—these same students looked and sounded totally different. In these spaces, they were actively engaged and eagerly assuming roles as leaders.” Yesterday we celebrated multiple student-athletes who signed their letter of intent and will open Neil Simon’s Rumors on stage later this month. We know we are only sharing a chapter in their growth and development as scholars and performers in their realm. My belief is that these students have had exposure to an alchemy that will serve them well--we are as optimistic as we are proud.