I've had many discussions with Seniors over the years about the things we don't seem to cover in high school, and how it often seems disconnected with their 'practical living' needs as they head into the future. In these discussions we sift through things that would help make the transition from high school into the world. I've often pondered why schools seem to be quite comfortable with grooming students with traditional academic subjects but don't tackle what you'd consider more practical daily living items, often things that people learn through 'the school of hard knocks.' Here's a few:
Health and medicine
Nutrition: Cooking, hydration, understanding metabolism
Finance: Investing, credit cards, mortgages, loans, depreciation, writing checks, balancing a budget...
Roommates and apartments
Aging: 18, 21, and on
How parent / guardian relationships evolve with time
Creating and maintaining our digital, online presence
I had thoughts back to my high school 'culinary arts and sewing classes...
We kicked around the idea of forming it up into new course... a modern day Senior Seminar of sorts. One that includes a heavy social networking element and the goal to create deeper personal learning networks and support groups. The thought is we'd ask guest speakers to come in, both person and by video conference to explain their area of expertise and also to tell their tales about the journey out of high school, and how they got where they are today: The success and most importantly the struggles. The class would design projects on these topics and we'd explore each and every persons interests they bring to the table.
I recently worked with two students to shore up the work we started on this and I'm happy to say that the new course description was recently approved. We'll crank up in the Fall of 2011.
The title: Social Networking: A Senior Seminar
We live in the most collaborative era in the history of our civilization... and there's more to social networking than traditional academic pursuits.
My hope is that this might open the door for discussions on more advanced internships, shifts in traditional scheduling... who knows.
Here's the entry on the rLab blog. I'd love to hear folks opinions on the matter.
Stay tuned. AP