I read Thomas Toch's book about High Schools at a Human Scale and was impressed by his profile of HTH. I'm compiling a video documentary, visiting the schools mentioned in his book. I've made a 10-minute video from my visit to Dennis Littky's school in Providence. Here is the youtube link:
I plan to be in San Diego at some point in 2012 or 2013.
a) What permissions do I need to obtain?
b) Is it possible to interview a teacher?
c) Is it possible to video a class in progress?
d) Is it possible to ask a teacher these sorts of questions;
1. What do you do to provide scaffolding (support) to students who want to learn through lectures? What do you say to the student who says, "Can't you just tell us what we need to know? Like in a real class?"
2. Some teachers teach the way they were taught -- an adult lectures to the class, students take notes, there's a test at the end of the week. What advice do you have for teachers who have not used projects in their lesson plans?
3. What training is needed for teachers who want to use project-based learning? What videos and books have you used?
4. Some teachers tell me that they just don't have the room for all of the projects that students will create. How does HTH handle the storage of projects in progress? How do you digitize projects? What is your storage system? What objections did you have before you got into the swing of building portfolios?
5. I've heard of portfolios. How much time does evaluating portfolios take? How do you organize your week and what makes the use of portfolios valuable?
My aim is to persuade principals to allocate space for storage of projects, create digital zones for e-portfolios, and allow teachers to embrace project-based learing. Many principals that I've spoken to have told me that "it's just too expensive to train teachers to use projects" and "Projects don't deliver quickly enough to get the measured improvements on standardized tests" that they are under pressure to produce.