JMC110716g

The MiniversityTM – Senior HIgh School Re-imagined

Mental health issues in universities; non-teaching periods scattered randomly through a traditional timetable; a whole city for our campus but field trips causing so much nuisance to those not involved; the growing importance of teachers and their need to increase, constantly, their capacity to succeed with every student; the infuriating, mistaken assumption that students can transition their minds from one subject to another seamlessly and effectively every forty minutes/hour/ninety minutes/block etc.; the nonsense of small classes meaning more time for each student ; the equal nonsense that any class lecture reaches all students; the increasing tendency towards mark inflation -all these things and more we set out to solve and/or ameliorate.
The result -our Miniversity TM.
The MiniversityTM year is arranged in 6 blocks; each block is 20 days; each day is 8.30am-5pm.
In each block, students take 1 course only Monday-Thursday.
Fridays throughout the year are used for the Arts and Physical and Health Education.
Between each block is an Interval. The interval is used for revising work from previously completed blocks, a Colloquium with guests on subjects of importance to students and selected by them, and reading time.
To ensure appropriate pastoral care, each student has a Tutor who monitors progress in both cognitive and affective domains, advises, assists, supports, and mentors.
Tutors assist groups of about 10 students who remain with them for the 3 years of the program. Tutors meet their groups daily from 8.30am-9am and by arrangement at several other suitable times.
The outcomes after one year: students are positive; they enjoy the ability to focus on a single subject; they are happy to be free of conflicts.
Teachers are positive: they have more time with those who need it, they can use the city as their campus without causing disruption and their non-teaching blocks afford fantastic opportunities.
And 92% of the Class of 2016 graduated with honours!

Does your school do something similar?

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