With all our talk about preparing students for the realities that await them, most of our students remain bound to textbooks, lectures, and cinderblock classrooms until they graduate. What then? How can we deliver relevant, practical instruction and also provide students with learning opportunities that extend beyond the schoolhouse doors?
Beyond Room 109 describes a classroom where learning takes place in a variety of arenas—from funeral homes and retail stores to mountain tops and city streets. Creating a bridge between secondary school and the work world, Richard Kent details the what, how, and why of a yearlong classroom program that culminates in a two-month independent study experience. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to investigate themes of personal interest and to imagine their lives in the years to come. By the final quarter, they experiment with careers, investigate hobbies, or select a major academic research project.
Through a variety of models and work samples, readers will discover how to create similar kinds of academic adventures. They'll also see how Kent and his students organize a school year that culminates in independent studies, and how these experiences not only engage but inspire students.
Beyond Room 109 sheds new light on traditional views of schooling by placing student choice at the center of the classroom. Kent’s book demonstrates the results of his innovative approach in integrating the reading-writing process, portfolios, and project-based learning.