All Sides of an integrative curriculum…taking a second look

Since we’re on the topic of what an integrative curriculum would look like; I draw attention to another article featured in the Thursday, April 26th edition of the Chicago Trib, Cabrini school closed, but lessons live on.

  • Detail: 16 fifth graders engage in Project Citizen, a social justice project with their teacher Brian Schultz. Students respond to the question What problem would you like to fix? The most pressing issue was the deplorable condition of their school.
  • Situation: Schultz and his students seizes the opportunity to make a difference in their learning environment. Though eventually the school closed, the kids learned lessons that changed their lives.

The project focused on problem-based learning. These kids and their teacher charged to improve the quality of their school environment using a variety of methods including statistics and constitutional law; quite impressive to get fifth graders involved to this degree. According to he article, the kids charted temperature fluctuations in their classrooms. They photographed bullet holes and bugs in the bathrooms. They penned letters to politicians and journalists. They launched a web-site and made a video documentary.

Though the article highlights the impact Project Citizen on the lives of these fifth graders, it’s also a demonstrates how one creative teacher with an entrepreneurial vision draws out the best from his students.

Framing the agenda for youth entrepreneurship education requires a critical kook at educational reform. A lot of emphasis is placed on standardized testing as a benchmark to gauge student achievement. Tests do not guarantee that kids will leave school with the skill sets to function critically and/or creatively in the innovative/global economy.


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