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FAST BREAK: Career and College Readiness Through Accelerated Learning by Dr' Barry Stern Bselsaol'co

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Title: FAST BREAK: Career and College Readiness Through Accelerated Learning by Dr' Barry Stern Bselsaol'co


1
FAST BREAK Career and College Readiness
Through Accelerated Learning by Dr. Barry
Stern Bsels_at_aol.com (540) 751-0601 www.hipie.org
, www.habermanfoundation.org Presentation to
_____ School District ____, 2009
2
Overview
  • Demographic, socio-economic and high school
    performance trends in ______
  • Your Districts/Schools major challenges?
  • Assumptions to guide new approaches to career and
    college readiness
  • Fast Break Program
  • History of Fast Break
  • The what, why, who, and how of program
  • Evaluation evidence why it works
  • Alternative target groups and costs
  • Discussion Starting Fast Break at ____ District

3
Major world problem Unemployed and
under-skilled youth
  • Result poverty, crime, gangs, social unrest,
    illegal immigration, migrant labor, tensions with
    surrounding nations.
  • Poorly prepared population, particularly in
    technical areas, slows economic growth
  • Acute problem among young men. Female
    participation in higher education much greater in
    many countries, including U.S.

4
U.S. leaders concerned!
  • In so many meetings I have had in my district and
    elsewhere, employers say that our high school
    graduates are not ready for the workplace.
    Colleges say that our high school graduates are
    not ready for the college classroom. This is
    unacceptable. Congressman George Miller, Chair,
    House Education Committee, Speech on NCLB,
    7/30/07
  • The American high school is obsolete. Bill
    Gates, Microsoft
  • The longer kids are in the American school
    system, the worse they do relative to their peers
    in other countries. Third International
    Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

5
Universal challenge schools keeping up with
economic technological change
  • Instructors who havent kept up
  • Obsolete curricula, assumptions about schooling,
    equipment
  • Dumbing down of curricula or lowering standards
    due to unprepared students
  • Lack of accountability, incentives to promote
    competition and quality
  • Minimal industry involvement in education
  • Bureaucracy

Industry College Requirements
Capacities of Educational System/Programs
6
When gap gets too big, major federal education
initiatives follow
  • 1957 Sputnik
  • 1983 Nation at Risk study
  • 1991 America 2000 initiative
  • 2001- No Child Left Behind

National Defense Education Act
7
Flurry of reforms and innovations
  • Better teacher training, standards, selection
    methods
  • Higher pay, merit pay, school bonuses
  • Smaller schools, schools-within-schools,
    alternative
  • Magnet schools, career/theme academies
  • School report cards, accountability
  • Charter schools, competition, choice
  • Dual enrollment in community colleges
  • Computer-assisted instruction, online courses,
    etc.

8
More money invested in schools, yet …
  • Reading and math scores barely increase
  • High school and college drop out rates remain
    high,
  • High need for remediation among college entrants
  • Low employer satisfaction with graduates

9
Student population has changed
  • More ethnically diverse
  • More from single parent households, more
    half-siblings
  • More speak English as 2nd language
  • More low-income qualifying for school lunch
    program
  • More experiencing/witnessing abuse (drug,
    physical, mental, etc.)
  • More transience changing home location
  • More with disabilities (e.g. autism related
    brain disorders)
  • Worse basic skills

10
Many with increased emotional Load
  • Youth arrive at school with heightened emotional
    affect
  • Home - Impact of divorced or single parent family
    or home with turmoil
  • Media - conflict images and language
  • TV Programming with emotional and physical
    violence (solving conflict through physical
    means)
  • Advertising to pressure youth to do/buy
    something
  • Youth reacting on emotional impulse rather than
    clearly choosing life serving behavior or
    learning
  • PTSD in high violence environments
  • Psychological symptoms in schools similar to that
    occurring in war torn environments

11
Effects of youth with high emotional load
  • Reduced attention span
  • Distracted focus and low productivity
  • Reduced and disrupted learning capacity
  • Bullying and displacing emotions
  • Tragic sexual expression
  • Excessive illness and/or lateness
  • Limited opportunities and no safe format for
    students to express/reduce internal and external
    conflicts from home or school

12
Yet high schools have changed little in last
50-80 years
  • Courses still called English, math, science,
    social studies, physical education, art, etc.
  • School day 6-7 periods/day students change
    what they do in response to a bell every 45-50
    minutes
  • 50-minute foreign language classes despite
    evidence of minimal effectiveness
  • Dualisms - college vs career prep, knowledge vs
    skills
  • College counselor and career counselors are
    different people, etc.
  • Little awareness of changing world of work

13
And students have been signaling for a long time
that they…
  • Are bored/ not challenged Astins (UCLA)
    studies of college freshmen over 30 years
  • Believe many teachers dont care
  • Feel alienated and dont fit in
  • Enjoy after-school activities far more than
    in-school activities (sports, clubs,
    robotics/debate/voc skills competitions, etc.)

14
U.S. urban high schools teach anti-work
behaviors and attitudes
  • No screening process for getting the job beyond
    showing up.
  • There is a "boss" who will watch what you do and
    see that you do it.
  • You can come and go as much as you want and still
    keep the job.
  • You can be absent as long as you have a note from
    a doctor or a good excuse.
  • If you are late or absent, you can simply start
    working again without having to make up for or
    even know what you missed.
  • You get paid for the time you spend at work, not
    for what you accomplish.
  • No matter how long you work, the job never
    changes.
  • You can get a raise because of the length of time
    you have "worked."
  • You don't have to really respect anyone who can't
    hurt you.
  • It won't matter if the place is successful or the
    work gets screwed up that's not your problem.
  • It won't matter how many mistakes you make
    you'll get another chance
  • You don't have to remember or follow the work
    rules if no one tells them to you.
  • Prof. Martin Haberman, Unemployment Training,
    EdNews.org, 2007, Phi Delta Kappan, 1997.

15
Assembly line high school unlikely to
significantly improve reading and math scores,
graduation rates, employer satisfaction with
graduates, etc.
  • In its best days, never worked for half the
    students (most in authority benefited from
    current system)
  • Never really changed how h.s. classes are
    organized, or tapped into desire of adolescents
    to become part of a group with a higher purpose
    and winning mission.
  • Never asked teachers to work together and
    communicate about students they mutually teach.
  • Colleges more sophisticated but many still
    trapped in disconnected disciplinary silos that
    struggling entrants cannot relate to.

16
Fast Break approach Better, faster, cheaper
with more joy leading to result that is important
to the student right now
17
History of Fast Break
  • Focus Hopes Fast Track program began in 1989
    readiness for Machinist Training
  • Colin Powells visit to FH in 1993 led to federal
    interest to replicate FH programs in other cities
  • 1 million grant from NSF to replicate Fast Track
    in Los Angeles 3 year demo
  • Operation Fast Break in Michigan, 2000-03 6
    sites Fast Break Futures (welfare to work)
  • Alabama uses as front-end of workforce
    development programs Roger Penske Gov.

18
What is Fast Break?
  • Computer-assisted, intensive, accelerated
    learning / work preparation model that emphasizes
    reading, math, basic computer applications,
    employability and interpersonal skills.

19
Fast Break provides immersion-type curriculum
that is effective and popular with young adults
and teenagers
  • Cross-disciplinary, team taught courses with
    cross-trained instructors
  • Facilities, methods, and interpersonal relations
    that model high performance workplace
  • Workplace discipline and effective time
    management
  • Daily feedback on class and individual
    performance
  • Integration of soft skill training with hard
    academics
  • Heavy use of courseware (e.g. PLATO, NovaNet, Key
    Train, WIN) to manage instruction and reporting.

20
Fast Break provides ...
  • Strong career guidance and information to help
    select a career field (menu)
  • Fundamental learning and generic work skills to
    benefit from college or succeed in most
    entry-level career-track jobs (meal)
  • Certification of skills in math, reading, and
    basic computer applications (dessert)
  • Extended job/college placement and follow-up to
    ensure success (social contract)

21
Career Development Stages and Skill Levels
Education and Training for Careers (meal)
Skill Certification and Placement into Jobs or
Further Education (dessert)
Career Guidance and Information (menu)
Company/employer- specific skills
Industry-specific Skills (Portable Credentials)
Generic Work Skills How to use resources,
process information, use technology, understand
systems, relate to others, work on teams
Fundamental Skills
Personal Qualities Responsibility, integrity,
self-confidence, moral character, loyalty, etc.
Basic Skills Reading, writing, speaking,
listening, math
Thinking Skills How to learn, create,
solve problems, make decisions, etc.
Source Dr. Barry Stern, Career and Workforce
Development Trends Implications for Michigan
Higher Education, Ferris State University, August
2003.
22
Who Are The Participants?
  • Anyone needing better skills and/or work habits
    to enter college or career-track work
  • Out-of-school young adults (h.s. grads/dropouts)
  • High school students
  • College freshmen needing remedial education
  • Welfare recipients needing better skills work
    habits
  • Ex-offenders
  • Displaced workers/homemakers re-entering job
    market
  • Incumbent workers desiring advance from basic
    level
  • Recent immigrants needing skills and orientation
    to U.S. system of work and education

23
Critical elements of Fast Break
  • Team approach
  • Staff complement each others abilities and
    background
  • Haberman Star Teacher Interview protocol to
    select staff
  • Team challenges customer service incorporated
    into instruction
  • Disciplined learning environment, attendance
    stds.
  • Academic entry and exit standards
  • Application of high performance workplace
    principles touches all aspects of human
    capital
  • All instructors accessible to students the entire
    day
  • High intensity to accelerate gains (e.g. 5-8
    hours/day for 8-12 weeks 320 hours

24
Critical elements (contd)
  • Reading and math as workplace fundamentals
  • Heavy use of courseware, software to save time
  • Effective methods to reach students with
    different information processing preferences and
    degrees of emotional loading teach emotional
    intelligence as teamwork component
  • Immediate outcome that grads value e.g. job,
    college, faster advancement thru school/college
  • Strong business advisory committee
  • Data collection/entry on student performance and
    follow up what graduates are doing

25
Eventually introduce into program …
  • Teacher visits to supervisors of grads in their
    workplace one day per month feedback from
    workplace that possibly can be incorporated into
    curriculum
  • Community service project
  • Opportunities for grads to give back to program
  • Catered power lunch with local business leader
  • Saturday morning special workshops, e.g.
  • Internet etiquette
  • Workplace safety

26
How Does Fast Break Work?
  • Tightly scripted curriculum of high-level,
    highly integrated academics that are taught along
    with computer applications to solve work-related
    problems, while building workplace habits and
    personal character. Model uses a boot camp or
    highly focused approach to prepare students to
    succeed at the next level - a job or additional
    schooling.

27
FAST BREAK Program Details
  • The What, Why, How, Who of the Program.

28
FAST BREAK …
  • GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
  • WorkKeys Level 4 and 1 level (math, reading,
    locating info.)
  • Satisfactory career speech
  • Satisfactory progress in basic computer
    applications (IC3 cert?)
  • Proper attitude (can work as team member,
    accepts criticism)
  • Certified attendance (no more than three
    unexcused absences or tardies)
  • Remains drug free
  • ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
  • WorkKeys Level 3
  • Reading for Information
  • Applied Math
  • Commits to attend 5-8-hours-a-day for 8-12 weeks
  • Commits to going to work or school after
    graduating

29
Operation FAST BREAK Program
  • Two Components
  • Fast Break job/college readiness
  • Step-Up math/reading readiness for Fast Break
    through courseware-assisted tutoring, with
    mentors overseen by specialists

30
FAST BREAK …
  • PRINCIPLES/CULTURE
  • Hard work high expectations
  • Earn way in and right to stay in
  • Integrated curriculum in applied work context
  • Continual feedback improvement
  • Practice fundamentals daily, including learning
    on demand
  • Teamwork
  • Personal responsibility discipline
  • Freedom from drugs
  • Reward for effort and excellence
  • Respect for others
  • Primacy of the customer
  • Employer driven
  • CONTENT
  • Math (computer-assisted small group)
  • Reading
  • Computer Applications - Word Processing -
    Spreadsheets - Databases - WINDOWS - Graphics
    Programs
  • Career Employability Skills - Speaking,
    listening, bus. writing - Time management/calendar
    s - Career selection - Resumes - Interviewing -
    Work habits

31
Set positive emotional tone through …
  • Total respect for co-workers and supervisors
    commensurate with high performance workplace
  • Language tools to deal with conflict and
    disagreement
  • Awareness of emotional functioning and how to
    manage emotional states
  • Use of council format to work through group
    challenges and acknowledge individual
    contributions
  • Parent support trainings to reduce emotional load
    at home (high school-based programs) and thus
    facilitate student accomplishment.

32
Features of FAST BREAK environment
  • Students buy in by 1st week why theyre there
  • Little lecturing instead, small group
    computer-assisted to handle multiple ability
    levels in class
  • Class usually split in 2 ½ computer lab ½
    classroom, and they switch periodically
  • No down time everyone has daily plan plan B
  • Math, reading, computer instructors assist one
    another integrate curricula whenever possible
  • Career development and workplace applications
    throughout the curriculum
  • Staff meet daily after students leave to discuss
    day

33
Demonstrated successes of Fast Break-type
programs
  • 80 program completion rate
  • 80 placement rate of graduates into jobs or
    college
  • 2.5 grade-level gains in math and reading in 7
    Weeks, i.e. 1-2 WorkKeys levels
  • Computer application skills (word processing,
    spreadsheets data bases)
  • Higher college placement test scores
  • Self directed learners
  • High degree of employer satisfaction with
    graduates

34
Employment impact
  • Employers say graduates…
  • Are more trainable than most they have hired
  • Demonstrate ability to learn on their own as well
    as work on teams
  • Are punctual, responsible, eager to learn
  • Saves them money on recruiting, turnover,
    absenteeism worker accidents.

35
Unusual outcomes
  • Males do as well as females
  • Large classes (30-40) do better than small ones
    (15-25)
  • Military recruiters in L.A. loved Fast Break
  • University students would enroll in the summer to
    hone their math and English skills (FB was free
    only small processing fee)
  • Some parents enrolled, too, after their kids
    graduated and got jobs

36
Instructors benefit, also
  • Learn to function in a team-oriented educational
    environment
  • Improve own basic skills
  • Learn how to use educational technology and
    office equipment
  • Learn about different careers and the local
    economy
  • Improve instructional effectiveness by obtaining
    feedback from graduates and employers

37
Potential measures of high school success
  • Scores on Student Achievement Tests
  • High School Retention Graduation
  • High School Attendance Rates
  • Enrollment in Advanced Placement
    Courses
  • College Enrollment Retention

38
Not yet tested in high schools, but …
  • millions federal state have supported model
    for out-of-school youth (wish they had it in
    high school)
  • Content is secondary education
  • Some L.A. high school students successfully
    completed program during their summer break
  • FocusHOPE has had success in using it to improve
    the college and work readiness of a number of
    Detroit high school students.

39
Features of Educational Software
  • Organized by Skill Level
  • Short Lessons
  • Identify Skill Gaps
  • Management System
  • attendance, time on task, lesson completion rates
  • Reports Complete Tracking
  • Ease of Use for both Students Instructors
  • Appealing Graphics

40
Courseware aligned to Work Keys WIN or
KeyTrain curriculum
  • Curriculum Content
  • Applied Math
  • Reading for Information
  • Locating Information
  • Writing
  • Workbooks Available
  • Other courseware (e.g. PLATO, NovaNet) can align
    to ACT test, G.E.D. and other assessments

41
Career Readiness Credential based on 3 WorkKeys
Assessments
  • 1. Reading 2.Math 3.Locating Information
  • Bronze Achievement at Level 3
  • Silver Achievement at Level 4
  • Gold Achievement at Level 5
  • Increasingly recognized by employers. Higher
    levels indicate more jobs that you can learn.

42
Summary Why Fast Break Works
  • Intensive, total immersion strategy
  • Emphasis on reading and math integrated,
    contextually relevant curricula learning on
    demand (e.g. career sp.)
  • Powerful incentives (e.g. job, college, grade
    promotion)
  • Continual data-based feedback (individual and
    team)
  • Nurturing staff continually communicates about
    students
  • Model high performance business environment with
    opportunities for informal learning
  • Teachers visit job sites to follow up with
    employers and graduates
  • Focus on specific competencies disciplinary
    standards
  • Manage instruction with computers - repetition,
    diversity

43
Fast Break Sites in Michigan
  • Flint - Mott Community College (with Workforce
    Board)
  • Detroit - TWW Associates, Detroit - now Fast
    Break Futures that adds MOUS certification - TANF
    other
  • Detroit - FocusHope Fast Track (18 years
    experience)
  • Plainwell - Michigan Career Technical Institute
    (individuals with disabilities)
  • Lake County - Workforce Board/Baldwin Community
    Schools
  • Macomb County - Lakeshore Adult School
    (with Workforce Board)
  • Hamtramck Alternative High School
  • Battle Creek - Strive/Urban League/Davenport
    College
  • Developed original model. Program
    no longer active.

44
Positioning Fast Break in High School Options
  • 12th grade/adult transition-to-work-or-college
    program,
  • 9th grade unit of instruction to upgrade basic
    skills, provide career direction, work/study
    habits, and orientation to high school
  • Front end of technical training programs
  • Module during any high school year
  • Alternative education program
  • Summer school program other of above option(s)

45
For high schools, cost should not be issue to
implement Fast Break
  • Have faculty who can be trained to operate Fast
    Break
  • Alternative way of delivering math and basic
    English
  • Have computers, printers, networks, office
    equipment and most facilities required for Fast
    Break
  • Few student recruitment costs. If incentive
    structure is right, students will line up to
    attend
  • Major new costs would be courseware, pre-program
    staff training, technical assistance during first
    6 months, placement services, and data collection
    to follow up graduates

46
  • If school did not redirect current budget and
    added Fast Break to current offerings, it could
    serve 300 Step Up and Fast Break students/year
    with 20-30 computer workstations with a budget
    of
  • 660,000 in operating costs if you dont
    overstaff (assumes nothing in place - staff,
    facilities or in-kind) and
  • 780,000 if you overstaff by 1-2 FTE
  • 2,500 per student for 320-hour program, or 7.80
    per student hour.
  • Another 150,000 for one-time start-up costs -
    software, computers, furniture office
    equipment, minor remodeling

47
Program Costs (if starting from scratch)
Assume program serves 300 students per year with
20 computer workstations, 2/3 in Fast Break,
1/3 in Step Up
  • Annual Operating Costs 780,000
  • Staffing benefits for full-time Fast Break and
    part-time Step Up programs (incl. 2 FTE teaching
    assistants)
  • WorkKeys assessment and Key Train or WIN
    curriculum materials
  • Software renewals, books, supplies
  • Rent, amortization of equipment
  • Drug screens, insurance, advertising
  • Telephone, printing, duplication
  • Overhead _at_ 20
  • Capital Equipment Expenses 150,000
    (Start-up one time)
  • Courseware licenses/student IDs
  • PCs, file server, printers
  • Copy machine, fax, telephones
  • Office, classroom, computer furniture, equipment,
    bookshelves, storage cabinets, white boards
  • Camcorder, VCR, TV, projectors
  • Remodeling, computer installation
  • Student smocks, tests, assessments

48
Steps for institutional implementation
  • Determine target group(s) and recruitment
    strategy
  • Develop incentives structure for institution,
    students, instructors make sure it works for
    everybody
  • Select and train instructors (Fast Break
    full-time only)
  • Install computers in lab and student tracking
    software
  • Install educational software, purchase WIN or
    KeyTrain curriculum
  • Adjust school scheduling staffing
  • Set benchmarks and outcomes

49
Hints for start-up success staffing
  • For Fast Break, count on full-time staff (except
    perhaps director) whose only job is Fast Break.
    Step-up staff may be part-time or volunteers.
  • Make sure director is hands-on and can do almost
    everything instructors do.
  • Use Haberman Star Teacher Selection Interview to
    select staff
  • Overstaff initially since it is hard to replace
    instructors who are absent or leave program
    surplus staff also provides opportunity to expand
    program after first year
  • Pay well to attract instructors who are
    cross-trained in 2-3 areas.
  • Diversity essential
  • Gender, age, experience in education
  • Each site with at least one instructor with
    recent work experience outside formal education.

50
Questions? Observations?
51
Supplemental to presentation Learning and
teaching hypotheses that guide Fast Break and
ought to be tested scientifically
52
Hypotheses (re. fundamentals of learning)
  • One cannot be too good at math, reading and
    writing. Test scores improve when these
    workplace fundamentals are practiced daily.
  • Reading and math skills (through Algebra I or II)
    improve faster when taught together rather than
    as separate subjects.
  • Students learn more when they practice their
    strengths as they address their weaknesses.
    Focusing only on weaknesses or achievement gaps
    will slow learning, impede integration of
    knowledge, demoralize students, and thus prove
    counterproductive.
  • The best way to remediate is to accelerate, and
    the best way to accelerate is to integrate and
    apply. (Lessons from Adult Ed.)

53
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. standards)
  • When it comes to standards, less is more.
    Standards should be competency-based, few in
    number, carefully selected, and tap thinking and
    application skills as well as memory skills.
  • How to narrow these to a number that can be
    effectively managed and enforced Ask the
    customers the employers, colleges and
    universities that will receive the graduates.

54
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. Human
Capital)
  • Helping students acquire elements of human
    capital while they are learning skills is more
    cost-effective than narrow skill building
    approaches.

55
Why human capital ?
  • According to David Brooks of the NY Times
    (11/13/05)
  • …skills and knowledge -- the stuff you can
    measure with tests -- is only the most
    superficial component of human capital. U.S.
    education reforms have generally failed because
    they try to improve the skills of students
    without addressing the underlying components of
    human capital.

56
More from David Brooks
  • We now spend more per capita on education than
    just about any country on Earth, and the results
    are mediocre. No Child Left Behind treats
    students as skill-acquiring cogs in an economic
    wheel…We pour money into Title I and Head Start,
    but long-term gains are insignificant.

57
And still more …
  • These programs are not designed for the way
    people really are. The only things that work are
    local, human-to-human immersions that transform
    the students down to their very beings.
    Extraordinary schools, which create intense
    cultures of achievement, work.
  • Extraordinary teachers, who inspire students to
    transform their lives, work. The programs that
    work touch all aspects of human capital.

58
So what is human capital?
  • Cultural capital the habits, assumptions,
    emotional dispositions and linguistic capacities
    we unconsciously pick up from families, neighbors
    and ethnic groups early family factors.
  • Social capital the knowledge of how to behave
    in groups and within institutions -- civility,
    dealing with bad news.
  • Moral capital the ability to be trustworthy.
    Brains and skills don't matter if you don't show
    up on time.
  • Cognitive capital along with inherited
    brainpower is the ability to evaluate ones own
    abilities and sense what others are feeling.
  • Aspirational capital the fire-in-the-belly
    ambition to achieve.

59
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. applied,
intensive formats)
  • 7. Learning rates improve when students must
    apply skills to solve problems like those they
    will encounter at work and in life.
  • 8. Infusing academics into career-technical
    courses will improve academic skills faster than
    infusing career concepts into academic courses.
    (Learning on Demand Sticht research)
  • 9. Intensive formats work better for many
    subjects. These include reading, math, foreign
    languages, and physical education. The intensive
    format provides sufficient time to practice
    skills, eliminate bad work habits and produce
    good ones, and create the conditions for
    curricular integration and the establishment of a
    high performance team.

60
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. course
integration)
  • 10. Most people learn math (through Algebra II)
    better when it is integrated with something else,
    like science and career-technical subjects. This
    will require team teaching and longer class
    sessions (e.g. block/modular scheduling).
  • 11. Students are more likely to learn about
    teamwork if their teachers model it. High school
    and community college teachers of the future must
    know not only their subject and how to teach, but
    how to integrate their subject with those taught
    by other teachers.

61
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. marketable
skills vs. college prep)
  • 12. When students experience academic success and
    have a career plan, they will likely choose
    college on their own you wont have to persuade
    them.
  • 13. High school graduates with a marketable skill
    (i.e. have met standards for a career entry
    position) will more likely enter college than
    those without. Thus, by getting students ready
    for work, you will be getting them ready for
    college.

62
Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. counseling
and guidance)
  • Counselor-student ratios unlikely to improve (not
    affordable). Regular academic program must
    provide career guidance through career
    academies or Career Pathway departments, CTE
    programs, and career information that students
    can obtain from the Internet (e.g. state career
    info system, Bridges).
  • Counselors add value by leveraging school
    resources to involve employers, workers, colleges
    and universities in the provision of guidance
    activities.
  • College and career counselors should be the same
    people.

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Learning and teaching hypotheses (re. courseware)
  • Courseware enables students to progress at own
    speed and makes competency-based certification
    more feasible/popular.
  • Courseware facilitates teaching of students of
    different ability levels in the same class.
  • Courseware does not produce much learning unless
    teachers incorporate it into their lessons on a
    daily basis. Why? Because teachers quickly
    forget how to use courseware if they only use it
    occasionally.

64
Learning and teaching hypotheses (courseware
contd)
  • 18. Integrating courseware into regular
    instruction is more cost-effective than placing
    it into remedial centers or programs that engage
    students for short periods of time.
  • 19. Availability of virtual courseware from the
    Internet is only now becoming sufficiently
    diagnostic and interactive to engage struggling
    students. Even if it were, students (struggling
    or otherwise) tend to learn more when they are
    part of a group whose norm is to help one another
    achieve and exceed expectations. Some struggling
    students prefer bowling alone, but most like to
    be in a group.

65
If aforementioned hypotheses are true, how would
you redesign learning for teenagers and young
adults?
  • Frequent, intensive practice of fundamentals
  • Much more course integration
  • Little ability grouping instead an opportunity
    culture
  • Multiple opportunities to apply skills in work
    and community settings
  • Students stay together and form work team rather
    than dash from class to class
  • No bells to distract learning (instead, morning
    afternoon modules)

66
Assumptions about human nature consistent with
such hypotheses
  • People want to be part of, help form, COMMUNITIES
    families, religions, groups, teams, …gangs
  • People like to be really good at, and admire
    institutions that are really good at, SOMETHING!
  • Adults/teachers like to work with peers not just
    kids
  • Both students and teachers like high performance
    environments high expectations, continual
    feedback, teamwork, learn new things daily,
    incentives that make sense
  • Teenagers want to become adults. Thus, they like
    opportunities to learn in workplace-like
    settings.

67
Question What would a school look like that made
students want to exceed minimum standards and not
merely slide by?
  • Answer an interscholastic team (sports,
    robotics, debate, etc.) that emphasized daily
    practice of fundamentals daily feedback on
    individual and team performance by position
    coaches continual communication among coaches
    (viz. teachers) on how to do better the next day
    continual opportunity for students to practice
    skills in competitive ("real world" game like or
    workplace-like) situations expectations of
    helping fellow teammates (classmates) to improve
    integration of knowledge to help players
    (students) understand why they are learning
    something in a particular way and the targeted
    use of technology to diagnose and improve
    abilities.

68
Program In Action (supplementary to presentation)
  • Whats Next
  • Details on why and how the Fast Break model works
  • (used normally to train Fast Break staff in how
    to operate the program).
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