A high school in New Hampshire, USA, has developed a curriculum that revolves around working with the local community, as students carry out 150 hours of community service a year.
The service includes stacking wood or clearing leaves, and taking part in projects with local conservation and historical societies, such as protecting wildlife habitats and mapping early graves.
Experts and professionals living in the area, from community artists to trappers and quilters, are invited to share their knowledge with students. The ethos of co-operation means there is no competition in the classroom or on the sports field, and no testing or exams.
Teachers carry out detailed assessments of students’ attitudes and aptitudes. The school claims students leave with a greater sense of responsibility towards others and their environment, as well as a better preparation for the real world.
Community School Video
(Runtime: 15 minutes)
Visit them online: The Community School website
Many existing standards documents do not encourage teaching for understanding… they outline hundreds of bits of information for students to acquire at various grades in each subject area, creating expectations for content coverage that render impossible the in-depth study students need to understand and apply ideas.
Programs at Work