By the time students reach high school, they have fully embraced a particular idea of themselves as a learner. I frequently hear students say things like “I’m not good at math,” “reading is too hard,” or “I don’t do well on tests.” These comments are made by bright young people who are too young to give up. What I know for certain is that they want and need a teacher to tell them they are wrong.
The Digital Promise Research team has worked with school districts in its League of Innovative Schools initiativeto create an online tool that suggests resources for helping address common challenges found in education—from kindergarten readiness to school redesign.
I have received more apologies from former students in the drive-through of fast food restaurants than I can count. The scene is always the same: I place my order, feel a bit embarrassed that my desire to eat local and organic food has been foiled once again, and then pull up to get my order. I roll down my window and hear, “Mrs. C!” Each time, I recognize the face—older than what I remember, but always the same smile. Almost immediately, the words start cascading out of their mouth: “I’m so sorry for how I acted in high school.”
The Kids Ahead program is designed to inspire young people to learn about STEM through innovative interactions in the physical and virtual worlds. The program is part of a larger national initiative led by Southern Methodist University to improve STEM skills in young people.