The ideal school is closer than you think. Welcome to Aspire High! The world’s best high school may be a dream, but it’s not out of reach. It’s a model drawn from research, observations, focus groups, and interviews, and each aspect of its success exists in a real school today. In this book, you’ll discover what makes Aspire High’s culture of aspiration work. Whether you’re a policymaker or district leader who can build a school from the ground up or an educator aiming for incremental change, you’ll find your next steps, including: • A whole new way to work with all stakeholders • Research and action for best practices, from physical layout to curriculum • Principles for designing practices that encourage student aspirations • Messages from thought leaders inside and outside the field of education Aspirational culture is good for the whole school community—and beyond. Make your school a dynamic place that promotes aspirations and meaningful learning for all.
Chapter 1: Students as Teachers
Students as Teachers
If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.
Upon entering the classroom, we hear a variety of voices. We are looking for a newly minted teacher and are unable to pick him or her out of the room. The room has about 20 young adults in it. We know (because we have been directed here) that all but one of them are Aspire High students—teenagers, albeit upper-level students. But somewhere in this sea of fresh faces is someone in his or her 20s. So far, this might not be an uncommon scene. Many of us once new to the teaching profession, straight from our undergraduate degrees, have been asked by a parent to ...