Thursday, March 3, 2016

Beyond the Classroom

In this week's Guest Post, senior Dylan McAllister writes about his personalized learning plan (PLP), a recent trip to San Francisco, and growth mindset:

Wouldn’t it be nice if a high school student had the chance to pursue exactly what interests them? What if they made a plan for executing it and could fund it? What if this was happening in our own, Hazen community? What an opportunity! Surprise; this is exactly what I am doing this year with my PLP, and I wanted to share a really amazing experience I had recently.

Through a grant I co-wrote for my senior capstone, I funded two colleagues and myself to travel to San Francisco for a “Learning and the Brain” conference. At the conference, I had the pleasure of listening to keynotes, and contributing to discussions with leading psychologists, neuroscientists, and researchers in the field of my interest – education. I gained insight on the newest research and the expert's thoughts on education and learning as we know it now. One of those individuals is a world-renowned psychologist and professor at Stanford University (see selfie above). She was the featured voice of the conference, and is an amazing speaker. It would be impossible to present in one, or even many, blog posts all of the information that was presented at the conference, but for a small sliver of Dweck’s work and a taste of the conference, read this article and watch the following TedTalk to learn a little about the power of mindsets:

But, this experience would not be worthwhile if I did not share it with the community back home. The Hazen Communicating School Redesign Team – a group comprised of Russell Shopland, Clara Lew-Smith, Rylan O’Connell, Allie O’Hara, and Chris Miller, who are working in youth-adult partnership to make change – has planned and prepared to bring some of this enlightening information back to the students. We hope to increase student understanding of the way the brain learns so that they can make informed decisions about their education and life. Stay Tuned!