01 July 2009

Bruce Hall's University Model for High Schools

No matter how hard a person such as Lynn Tilton works to save the US economy, if the American public is uneducated -- or poorly educated for the needs of society -- the society will eventually sink into mediocrity. Bruce Hall has proposed one of the most thoughtful approaches to reforming American secondary education that I have seen.

As you can see in the diagram, Bruce proposes creating a range of "Majors" or areas of emphasis, to match the wide range of available needs and niches in society at large. Most high school students will not succeed at nor benefit from a strenuous four year college program. But most students are capable of matching their unique skills and talents to satisfying work that can provide for their needs -- if they are shown the possibilities and given the skills and competencies they will need.

Adolescence should be considered a critical window of development. It is the time that children should begin to shoulder responsibility, and lay the groundwork for the early stages of their adult experience. Modern American society neglects this period of critical development, resulting in too many adolescents becoming stuck perpetually in quasi-adolescence.

By showing teenagers a more realistic range of possibilities, and by building their aptitude and competence to perform well within that wide range of options, teens become empowered and eager to demonstrate their skills responsibly -- rather than becoming embittered and alienated when the establishment fails to deliver on its promises.

America needs all the Lynn Tiltons it can get. But it also needs the ideas of its Bruce Halls and others capable of penetrating to the heart of America's growing educational deficit.

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6 Comments:

Blogger silly girl said...

I can't believe I am saying this, but I actually like it. So many students leave high school with no skills that they can actually use in a job. Whether or not a student chooses to go to college, he should be qualified to do something that there is some demand for. Likewise, schools should have job fair days where employers come and interview kids so they will have a job when they graduate.

Wednesday, 01 July, 2009  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

The problem with high school is that for the vast majority of students, there is not a single useful class.

Most students are not going to be doctors, lawyers and engineers. What they need are classes that are useful for the student who will become welders, dental hygeinists, janitors, soldiers, fry cooks, secretaries, dry wallers, painters, iron workers, drivers, and car salesmen.

The students know that few of them are cut out to be doctors lawyers and engineers and they think high school is a joke. The parents either don't care what happens, or want their kids to be educated to be dles whether their kids are not the sharpest tool in the shed or not. The result is that high school is useless for the majority of the students who go through it not because it fails to educate them, but because it attempts to educate them to a level above their abilities and or inclinations.

Better would be to teach the students that they can take a job at McD's, and, by keeping their nost to the grindstone, eventually manage or own the places and make a lot of money. Stupidity is not a sentence to a lousy career but the way highschool is designed it can be very depressing for the lower grade earning 75%.

Wednesday, 01 July, 2009  
Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Thanks for the kind words. It is time for an educational revolution... whether this model or something better.

Friday, 03 July, 2009  
Blogger Ronduck said...

Personally, I would think simpler solution would to destroy the federal and state educational bureaucracies. Local communities are capable of educating their children as required without the need for a top down model like this one.

Here in the southeastern art of Maricopa county, AZ the local school districts have sponsored a common trade school, the high school I went to has a small International Baccalaureate program, and the local school district has a few gifted programs. And students that want to can get their GED and attend classes at the local community colleges instead of attending the high schools.

And this doesn't count the common AP classes that are available at all of the high schools.

Needless to say, without Leviathan dictating and funding stupidity communities can give their children an adequate education appropriate to their skill level. I can imagine the federal educational bureaucracy attempting to implement this idea nationally.

This is a good idea but I wouldn't want it in federal hands.

Saturday, 04 July, 2009  
Blogger Ronduck said...

I feel ignorant looking at the spelling mistakes of my previous post.

Saturday, 04 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Ron, your summary sentence at the end of your first comment (12:28:00 PM) is quite good. In fact, it should have been the first sentence of that comment.

As for your second comment, it was unnecessary. People do not go to blog comments to learn how to spell. ;-)

Basically, the point I am making in the first paragraph of this comment is that the "Blink" phenomenon from Malcolm Gladwell is only trivially meaningful. Often persons can only get at the essential nugget of their thinking after clearing away to debris.

That's why most writers' first (and second ...) novel(S) are usually garbage. They have to take out the trash before they can find the good stuff underneath.

Saturday, 04 July, 2009  

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