FOR STUDENTS, TEACHERS, & SCHOOLS.
Cultivating Connections that Matter work with students, teachers, schools, parents and anyone else interested in making learning relevant to students and connected to the real world. We know there is value in pushing students outside a protective academic bubble to participate in real world learning and service, but teachers and schools struggle to find time, resources, and assessable outcomes. We aim to work with all community members to challenges students to develop their own meaningful answers to real world questions.
SIX STAGES FOR CONNECTION
The 6 Stages for Connection transform the classroom into a student-centered laboratory for learning! Teaching and learning become an active collaboration for all group members.
Drawing on evidence-based best practice, the Toolkit for Transformational Teaching and supporting professional development guide educators to find the potential for learner growth within their content and subject areas. Teaching is a joyful practice when the learners are eager to engage.
MISSION-INSPIRED UNIT FOCUS
Create guiding unit questions that bridge students experience with purposeful academic goals. These questions give students an appreciation for how the curriculum connects their previous understanding to significant world issues.
INVITING STUDENTS INTO THE UNIT
Open the door to your unit through day-one provocations and activities that invite students to voice opinions based on their experience and the world around them. Students’ passions and diverse perspectives become assets in building engagement.
PERFORMANCE OF CONNECTION
Design a culminating showcase for student learning with an authentic audience beyond their teacher. Make the impact of their work visible to motivate transfer of academic skills and positive risk taking. Students feel pride in their work!
Introduce students to people, organizations and projects making use of the unit’s academic concepts. Community and service connections provide learners the chance to experiment with their skills while appreciating the real world relevance of their learning.
ASSESSMENT AS A PREPARATION
Rethink the role of assessment in your unit. Present more traditional academic exercises as an opportunity to prepare for the worthwhile challenge posed by the Performance of Connection. Students look to the teacher for proactive feedback as they hone disciplinary skills and deep dive into content knowledge. Coach students to rise to their potential rather than serving as the arbiter of grades.
REFLECTION TO CRYSTALISE LEARNING
Design both formal and casual reflection activities that prompt students to to take ownership of their growth. Observing and articulating their own process encourages self awareness and reinforces learning goals.