This article shows the power of realistic, project-based student work. High school students used to develop websites for fictitious companies, working in isolation from the outside world.
When the business departments in the Bismarck public school system went out to find real companies to work with their students, they added both Meaning and Symphony from Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind.
In the article, Dale Hoerauf, director of career and technical education for Bismarck Public Schools states “They need to see it’s meaningful.”
From my own experience with combining businesses and student work, the aptitude of Symphony is a natural side effect. When working with a business there are all sorts of little pieces that need to be researched and put together. Usually these are things that would never occur to me, a career educator. But in the business world these things are a normal part of doing business.
I think this is an easy upgrade for many subjects: Find area business people that are willing to help out. Most of the professionals that I approach are more than willing to volunteer time to work with students. You just need to find a practical outlet for their expertise.
And on the motivation side, students find purpose in what they are doing. I am always amazed at the dedication that students show when they are working for someone outside the classroomShare