Aurora Sentinel: Aurora school district eyes new diploma for student with college credits

March 9, 2010
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Meaning Through Differentited Diplomas

As I spend half of my day at a high school technical center, I am always looking for examples of using focused learning to enhance Meaning in a student’s education.

As I have mentioned before, one way I like to think of Dan Pink’s Meaning aptitude from A Whole New Mind is how I can create a meaningful experience for my students’ education.  How can I take their experience in the classroom and provide a purpose beyond themselves?

This article talks about a growing movement in education that connects academic learning to larger concepts outside of the classroom walls.  The specific method in this article is the offering of “pathways” program which will allow students to focus their learning and to receive college credit.

But this Aurora school district is contemplating stepping things up by requiring that students complete advanced placement or concurrent enrollment programs in order to graduate.

The technical center where I teach offers a large variety of college credit opportunities for students, and I can say that it is extremely successful.  Students seem to see a purpose in their studies.  They can see the meaning in what they are doing.

And I can also attest to the increase in student motivation that occurs with this increased purpose that college credit provides.  It is an educational application of purpose and mastery as outlined by Dan Pink in his book Drive.  These kids know why they are in class, and are challenged by mastering specific academic concepts.

But it is not required for graduation in my district.  I can’t help but think that the success of students at my school could be replicated for every student in our district.  It’s an interesting idea, and I hope that Aurora can make it work.

Aurora school district eyes new diploma for student with college credits.

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