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SENIOR SEMINARS Specifics & Example Performances CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research.

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Presentation on theme: "SENIOR SEMINARS Specifics & Example Performances CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 SENIOR SEMINARS Specifics & Example Performances CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research

2 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research WHY OFFER A SENIOR SEMINAR? Senior Seminars bridge the gap between high school and college 40% of students drop out of higher education before their sophomore year Students have difficulty performing in the less structured, conceptually oriented college environment Provides a challenging course for those that may not want to take AP or Honors, but plan to attend a community college or university Offers challenging curriculum within the comfort and support of a high school environment

3 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research SENIOR SEMINAR: REVIEW OF SIX CORE COMPONENTS Pacing is faster than in most high schools Writing is emphasized with required editing, rewriting, and frequent feedback Grading expectations are clear and detailed scoring rubrics are used Learning objectives are tied to college readiness and key outcomes are measurable Emphasis is on developing habits of mind, such as analytical thinking and intellectual curiosity Frequent evaluation is given students, including feedback from external sources

4 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research SENIOR SEMINARS: ENGLISH Course might be team-taught with a writer, poet, or faculty member from higher education Content emphasizes analytical thinking and free exchange of ideas Student writing is frequently critiqued Number of works read and papers written is consistent with college expectations Final course evaluation includes a narrative component in addition to a letter grade--students need to understand where they must add skills or change behaviors to be successful in college

5 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research SENIOR SEMINARS: MATHEMATICS Senior Seminar may be problem-based or have a problem component Designed to gear students toward more complex application and use of mathematical knowledge and reasoning to find solutions to real world problems Focus on an integrated application of knowledge the students have, but applying it to more challenging content Application of mathematics can show students that mathematics is an important prerequisite for study in many fields

6 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research SENIOR SEMINARS: SCIENCE Systematic connections should be made between science and mathematics Focus on key foundational concepts, laws, principles Organized around one or two problems that require application of physics, chemistry, biology, or mathematics Solutions presented for public view Study may emphasize understanding of interaction between science and society and may include vexing public policy questions Seminar approach may provide a positive, motivating experience for students who are historically underrepresented in the sciences

7 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research SENIOR SEMINARS: SOCIAL SCIENCE Designed to develop more integrated understanding of social science concepts Draws on content knowledge previously gained to comprehend current issues and topics through the lens of a social scientist Calls on students to collect, analyze, and interpret data on a social problem or issue, either current or historical Requirements include making data-based presentations & suggesting solutions derived from analysis, not just opinion Products can be put to the test of public review & comment Key is the analytical approach This senior seminar design could draw from civics, history, geography as long as analytical thinking is the key focus

8 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research CHALLENGES & BENEFITS OF OFFERING SENIOR SEMINARS Requires careful curriculum mapping to be sure objectives and content are articulated to connect with college readiness Curriculum must be referenced to college readiness standards Should not be an AP  course, but could help students in AP courses consolidate their understandings of a subject area Dependent on close relations between the high schools and postsecondary institutions Ideally seminars are designed jointly by high school and post secondary faculty Seminars give students a reason to remain engaged in academics during their senior year Students with no math, science senior year will struggle in college Can also provide placement information for local colleges

9 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research EXAMPLE PERFORMANCES Write a 3-5 page research paper structured around a cogent, coherent line of reasoning that: incorporates references from several credible and appropriate citations is relatively free from spelling, grammatical, and usage errors is clear and easily understood by the reader Read with understanding a range of non-fiction publications and technical materials utilize appropriate decoding and comprehension strategies to identify key points note areas of question or confusion remember key terminology understand the basic conclusions reached and points of view expressed Complete successfully a problem or assignment requiring about two weeks of independent work and extensive research utilize periodic feedback from teachers and other pertinent resource people along the way to revise and improve the final product

10 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research EXAMPLE PERFORMANCES Conduct basic scientific experiments or analyses that require the following : use of the scientific method an inquisitive perspective on the process interpretation of data or observations in relation to an initial hypothesis possible or plausible explanation of unanticipated results presentation of findings to a critical audience using the language of science, including models, systems, and theories Conduct research on a topic be able to identify successfully a series of source materials that are important and appropriate to explaining the question being researched organize and summarize the results from the search synthesize the findings in a coherent fashion relevant to the larger question being investigated

11 CEPR Center for Educational Policy Research EXAMPLE PERFORMANCES Create and maintain a personal schedule that includes a to-do list with prioritized tasks and appointments Utilize key technological tools including appropriate computer software to: complete academic tasks conduct research analyze datasets write papers prepare presentations record data Present an accurate self-assessment of readiness for college by analyzing and citing evidence from: classroom work and assignments grades courses taken a personal assessment of maturity and self-discipline

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