Mar 26, 2010

Curiosity in Action: Look, Connect, Create

When I was in school I was told (over and over), "Although this isn't important now, it will be very useful later in life." I found this extremely frustrating: weren't there practical applications of what I was learning, wasn't there an audience for my work?

That experience directly informed what the Junior Urban Adventure (JUA) has become. Our juniors engage in Boston on real work and grapple with real ideas. They don't work on a text book, or grapple with the Internet - they interact with professionals in their field of study and the audience for their thoughts and ideas is as broad as the entire world.

We had an amazing trip this year. We examined a broad diversity of topics from Sustainable Architecture to New Media and Business Ethics to Street Art. Our students met Livingston Taylor (by complete coincidence) and a VP at Citi Group (completely on purpose), and interacted with many other passionate professionals, educators, NHS alums and friends of the school.

Each student had a very different response to the Junior Urban Adventure, but for all the students there were common threads that ran through the experience. We looked at real topics, issues and ideas that matter. We learned to draw connections between these ideas to people, other ideas and fields of study. Each student helped create something new in the world based on their response to what they saw and the connections they made. That was the theme of the JUA this year: Curiosity in Action: Look, Connect & Create.

I'm not sure if our students will ever need to blog, tweet, make movies, ride the T, or navigate Cambridge again, but the concepts behind Look, Connect & Create are one part of a new literacy that will serve our students well today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

What did you think of the JUA? Were you a parent following along, a student on the trip or a teacher leader? Let us know about what you think about the trip and the ideas behind it in the comments.


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Hans Mundahl said...

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Thanks for letting me know.