YOUTH AND ADULTS TRANSFORMING SCHOOLS TOGETHER GRADUATE COURSE
Two graduate courses, entitled Youth & Adults Transforming Schools Together Seminars 1 and 2, were offered to support the teachers engaged in YATST work for the first five years of this initiative (see Syllabi tabbed above). This time has proven invaluable to deepen our understanding of the work, provide mutual support and guidance and create a strong network of individuals committed to a shared pursuit. Many teachers completed the first two seminars and have continued to be part of the learning community, receiving professional development credit.
The longevity of YATST faculty required a new format to sustain this key aspect of our initiative. This year, we will network YATST adults by means of evening dinner gatherings held regionally every six weeks. As we have grown geographically, providing more accessible meeting opportunities has become important. Professional development hours will be available to honor this time.
A new course has been created this year entitled, "Communicating School Redesign through the Youth-Adult Partnership Lens" (see attached syllabus below). Creating a common language to assure that students can take a meaningful role in both learning and school transformation efforts is the goal of this course. Our capacity as change agents is compromised if we cannot effectively explain why and how youth-adult partnership lies at the heart of school redesign, and if the lack of a common language for desired changes remains a barrier for key stakeholders.
Teachers-student teams from a number of YATST schools will undertake this year long action research course, to 1) research the youth perspective on proposed transformative practices (i.e. personalized learning plans, flexible pathways, proficiency-based graduation requirements, performance-based assessment), and 2) design materials and methods to share these practices with students, teachers and the community at large. They will also be creating a video and a traveling display that captures the fundamental rightness of youth-adult partnership - the fundamental paradigm shift which grounds all our work. Teachers engaged in this course will receive graduate credit, while students will take it as a dual enrollment course, receiving both high school and college credit. We will walk the talk of youth-adult partnership in the very design of our efforts. The course curriculum will be documented for potential replication.
Alison Cook-Sather vividly captures the demands of our work. “The twin challenges authorizing student perspectives are a) changing the structures in our minds that have rendered us disinclined to elicit and attend to students’ voices and b) changing the structures in educational relationships and institutions that have supported and been supported by this disinclination” (Educational Researcher, May 2002, p.4).
For the complete "Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together Seminar 1 or Seminar 2 syllabus, click "Syllabi" tab above. For the syllabus for the 2013-14 Communicating School Redesign through the Youth-Adult Partnership Lens, see attachment below.
YATST Seminar 2
YATST Seminar 1
Communications Course 2013-14 syllabus