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.

A Pedagogy With Purpose

A Pedagogy With Purpose

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.

—Albert Einstein


Having sampled Aspire High on our first day, our second day involves sitting in on an entire class. We settle in to the room in which Steve Lewis is the Lead Learner today. His specialization is English language arts, but much of the curriculum at Aspire High is interdisciplinary. After the transition year, there are few classes in separate disciplines. These, we learn, are mostly for advanced students who are already leaning toward a particular college major or have a particular career focus. In most classes, Lead Learners, along with students, collaborate around a particular topic, theme, or project. When ...

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