Mr. Chandlee Crawford
High schools across Vermont are removing teachers from instructional positions to enable students to create their own course. The curriculum? Whatever they want it to be; self-directed learning classrooms are designed to allow students to choose their own path of study. In this model, teachers become facilitators to help students structure their projects and set realistic goals to produce tangible results.
These classrooms allow students to learn subjects or experiences that their schools do not offer. Students choose to pursue internships, language classes, studying a specific historical period, learning a new instrument; the possibilities are vast.
CVU has implemented its own self directed learning environment with Nexus.
Peter Booth and Troy Paradee are two of the four teachers in the program. “Our mission statement is to provide a space and support for students to pursue interests that are not already available in our curriculum,” says Paradee.
Booth explains the other factor that started the program. “Part of the idea is to – as a school – recognize that kids do lots of [learning outside of school] where they learn stuff unrelated to school. Why can’t the school say, ‘Hey, look at this thing this kid did,’ and give them credit?” Nexus bridges the gap between student interests (outside of school) and students’ academic world.