This week in the DLMooc, we are focusing on students in the adult world. Like Tim Flanagan, I wasn’t completely convinced that this week had a huge connection to my world as a Middle School English teacher, and so I wasn’t entirely on top of my viewing and reading and posting this week. But I’ve come to reconsider my position, especially after watching this Lens into the Classroom protocol.
The High Tech High students begin their internships in the 11th Grade: a stage of learning when students are normally starting to really consider what they will study in university and what challenges their adult lives will take on. While I don’t think that students in Grade 7 should be so narrow in their vision to absolutely know what they will be when they “grow up”, I do know that around the ages of 12 and 13, students are most certainly starting to articulate what they passionate about and what broad disciplines they are really curious about.
One High Tech High student said that internships are “a month to learn what you want”.
Perhaps the Middle School answer to “students in the adult world” is through field work (this idea shows up in the protocol from one of the probing questions in regards to what is the difference between field work and internships).
Could field work be the way that Middle School students get their feet a little wet in the adult world, solving real world problems, acting as a “think tank for community problems” as Emilo Torres suggested, and give students the chance to learn through their interests to promote deep engagement?
I’m wondering if there are other Middle School teachers in the larger DLMooc group that are also grappling with how “internships” or the “adult world” fits into their own version of school?