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Zach Both

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How would you redesign the current high school program?

I have the opportunity to help completely redesign a local high school program. There's no debate that drastic reforms are needed and I was hoping you would have some ideas on what should be added, what should be altered and what should be scrapped altogether. I'm looking for a wide range of answers from specific details to broader ideas on the whole system. Don't hold back. Im looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

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    Dec 7 2011: Thanks for all the suggestions everyone but I think this thread got a little off topic haha. I'll propose my ideas to help further discussion.

    While it is absolutely needed, a total reform of the largest public school district in Wisconsin would be near impossible (this district is where the high school in question is located). Hence these ideas are meant to work within the current school system's guidelines. I should further state that the high school being referred to is very small. About 30 students per grade level.

    It seems like schools love to be categorized. You have college preparatory schools. Art schools. Technical schools. Etc Etc. This in many ways is flawed. Schools should be able to cater to all types of students with all types of skills. That's why I propose that the first three years of high school are spent filling the prerequisites required for graduation. At the same time students should explore multiple areas and subjects that may (or may not interest them). It's by trying new things that you realize what you like or dislike.

    Now here's the kicker: The fourth year is spent as an in-depth independent study with a focus on internship and mentoring. Simply speaking, students will spend their senior year pursuing whatever interests them the most. For me, I was deeply passionate about filmmaking in high school. In this program, I would spend the entire year planning, writing and producing a film that would be shown at the end of the year. Another student who may be interested in business would work pursuing something entrepreneurial like starting a business of some sorts. For those who are not quite sure what they want to do, they would be provided with a list of things to choose from. The possibilities are endless.

    This would allow student's education to be hands-on and individually-tailored. They say the best way to learn is by doing. Thoughts?

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