SIG Midwest Meeting: Increased Learning Time in High School, Part 1

This is one in a series of blog posts about the recent Midwest High School SIG Conference, held May 18-19, in Chicago.

As moderator of the session, Organizing for High School Change: Increased Learning Time, my opening presentation began with the perspective that increased time can be used as a resource for school improvement.  I underscored the need for educators to have supportive conditions to meet all students’ needs, and these conditions include adequate TIME with students, with colleagues, and to:

  • Understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Build on each student's strengths and overcome their weaknesses
  • Learn how to understand and build on these strengths faster and more effectively over time

I also argued that high schools have not traditionally be structured to meet all students’ needs, especially because human development is highly individualized and students come to school with a huge variation in skills, challenges, knowledge, and experiences. The traditional 3 sizes (academic, general and vocational) don’t fit all. I provided examples what high schools traditionally look like and what research suggests we need to meet every students’ needs:

examples what high schools traditionally look like and what research suggests

To view the opening presentation, go to http://www.betterhighschools.org/MidwestSIG/agenda2pm.asp#Session4d.

Guest Author:  Becky Smerdon is founder and Managing Director at Quill Research Associates, LLC and a member of the National High School Center’s Editorial Team.

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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