School Should Take Place in the Real World
Many kids hate school. There is little captivating about writing a paper that will be thrown in the garbage after a grade is written on it with a red pen. There is not much real-world application found by sitting in rows in complete silence, being released from class by a factory bell, and listening to someone talk for an hour about topics that have no relevance to your current and future life. This method of education was created for a period in history that has long passed; yet this is exactly what one sees in the majority of American schools. Education needs to be authentic. School should not just apply to the real world, but actually be the real world. Everything a student does in a classroom should have purpose: tangible, community-altering, authentic purpose. Authenticity creates engagement, engagement creates better students, and better students create better citizens. Authenticity also creates better test scores, if you are into that sort of thing.
Trevor is a teacher, storyteller, and spoken-word poet. He teaches at Kent Innovation High School, a project-based learning school that uses integrated technology, collaboration, and hands-on learning to model a more effective way of doing education—all without textbooks. He is part of the team that has earned his school the title of National Demonstration Site for public schools. He is a certified trainer for the New Tech Network, an international network of Project -Based Learning schools with the initiative of reforming education. Trevor serves on the board at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, introducing new ideas and perspectives to their school of education. He is part of the Michigan Department of Education Personalized Learning Initiative; a group focused on implementing project-based learning and personalized learning into Michigan public schools. His spoken-word poem, “Coming Alive at 14” was featured in the Huffington Post.