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Experiential Learning: Taking students beyond the classroom

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Presentation on theme: "Experiential Learning: Taking students beyond the classroom"— Presentation transcript:

1 Experiential Learning: Taking students beyond the classroom
Dr. Aimee Wyatt Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

2 Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience. At MNPS, we believe that our high school students are more engaged in the learning process if they are able to reflect on activities they have experienced which have direct correlation to the curriculum being taught in the classroom.


4 Alignment of Experiences
Experiences in the Academies of Nashville are aligned to help students narrow their focus during the course of their high school education. Students who are more informed are more likely to graduate, set higher goals for themselves, and better understand the realities of life beyond high school.


6 What is a Capstone Project?
Capstone Project – 4 component project that is based in research and real-world experience Students enroll in a 1 credit course with a capstone advisor Students have option of taking the course on-line.

7 Why do it? MNPS Education 2018 Strategic Plan State Requirement
5 characteristics of a graduate Post-secondary connections 21st century skills (4 Cs)

8 But how do we go about doing this
But how do we go about doing this? Our Theory of System Change explains our approach and circles back to the personalized learning and three key strategies we discussed earlier. Personalized learning is our lever of change. When we personalize learning, our students will grow, achieve and be empowered, which will lead to student success in college, career and life. The more we transform, and focus on our three core strategies of quality teaching, transformational leadership and excellence for all – the more our students will succeed. The educational support system is the base for our lever and it includes The Board of Education, The district’s central office, Parents and families, Community partners, and The community as a whole. All of us play a role in these efforts and we will all share in our students’ success

9 Our high school graduates will all have a plan for post-secondary education and career and will score at least a 990 on the SAT or a 21 composite on the ACT, which is a requirement for Tennessee’s HOPE scholarship. They will have completed at least one course online, which will help them prepare for online learning in higher education and on the job. They will have a work-based or service learning experience of a capstone project and they will have earned either college credit or a nationally recognized professional certification.

10 4 Cs – 21st century skills Critical Thinking Collaboration
Communication Creativity

11 Background Prior to 2013, approximately 2-3% of students were obtaining internships and work-based learning experiences. 2013 district pilot - 16 schools – 12 zoned and 4 magnet Capstone Manual created – can look different for each school, but there are minimum expectations for all 63% of all seniors in the district were enrolled in a capstone course in

12 Learned that we needed fewer course codes with more flexibility Blended Learning and Virtual course 16 Lead Capstone teachers meet monthly 90% of all seniors are enrolled in a capstone course Created capstone website

13 What are Capstone Courses?
AP Capstone (Hillwood and Hume Fogg) Approaches to Learning II (IB Capstone) AVID IV (Antioch) Clinical Internship Theory of Knowledge II (IB Capstone) ISR IV (Hillsboro and Stratford) Senior Capstone Work-Based Learning (Hunters Lane) *Updated annually

14 Project Types Community Service Extended Observation Internship
Research Project Senior Showcase Service Learning Work-Based Learning

15 Project Advisement Not required to stay within Academy theme
Advisors don’t say “NO” System of support throughout the school Juniors are allowed to submit project topics as early as January and are required to attend a minimum of one senior presentation

16 The Capstone Manual Minimum requirements Guideline, not a lesson plan
District expectations Forms and Templates Schools should personalize Updated annually and placed on MNPS teacher portal

17 Project Components The 4 Ps: Paper Product Portfolio Presentation

18 Communication Posted on school website Parent contract
Student and teacher friendly format Parent contract Have community on presentation panels Student meetings for next year’s seniors (held by February each year) Alignment Nashville (website)

19 Differentiation Flexibility – no one way to do this!
Student voice and choice SPED modifications EL modifications Advanced coursework and additional expectations

20 What is the teacher’s role?
Facilitator/Connector - allow for student voice and choice, make resource connections Teacher – research, organizational and presentation skills, 4Cs, assessing progress Mentor/Advisor – giving options and suggestions, narrowing focus when needed, providing support Organizer/Documenter – presentation panels, data entry on project information

21 Advising Work along side students to determine projects
Moral/ethical implications Ensuring that the project challenges the student (no matter their current achievement level) When in doubt, work as a team with other staff members

22 Experiential Hours Self-Placement preferred
During school day versus outside of school – dependent on: Type of project Master schedule Principal’s decision Student maintains and submits documentation You make determination if they are acceptable – communicate with students

23 Experiential Hours YES Intern (paid/unpaid)
Shadow (related to project) Interviewing experts Learning a new skill Providing a service that is challenging or new to student NO Hours used to create their product Time spent researching for their paper Providing service that is not challenging or related to project



26 Blended Learning Blackboard layout Flexible scheduling
Digital portfolio Teacher onboarding/training

27 Assessment Calendar guideline Component rubrics Overall rubric
Collaboration in assessing Flexibility in grading – grades “in progress”

28 _____________ High School Capstone Project 2015
Capstone Project Final Rubric Total Points Earned for Capstone Project: ___________/1000 In order to complete the capstone course satisfactorily, a student must complete all four parts successfully and earn no less than 700 points.

29 Final Presentations Include Junior students
Panel consists of teachers, administrators, and business partners Invite parents – formal invitations Must utilize technology Must present portfolio and product Reflection on the entire process

30 Project Recognition Site-Based suggestions District suggestions
Include in graduation programs or slide shows Awards for top projects District suggestions Top project from each school to present at public forum

31 Contact information Dr. Aimee Wyatt Executive Lead Principal for Secondary Schools Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools


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