Learning is a two-way street

Learning is a two-way street
Posted on 02/24/2020
FocusSchool is not a rehearsal for life. School is life,” says Mirko Chardin, founding principal of Putnam Avenue Upper School, a public middle school serving a diverse group of 6th-8th graders in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When the school was founded in 2012 as part of a districtwide middle school reorganization, its leaders and staff were determined to focus on the student experience and put student voice at the heart of their work.

“People often talk about putting kids at the center, but no one talks about how,” Chardin says. “Kids can’t be at the center if the adults don’t have the capacity to understand their perspectives.”

For Chardin and his colleagues, this means more than simply asking students what they think — although that is part of their approach. Student identity and voice are woven into instruction throughout the school, with leaders and staff constantly asking themselves how they can learn from students about their experiences and how to use that insight to continually refine educator practice.

Read the full article in Focus >>
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