At Coastside Leadership Academy, we cocreate the curriculum with our students. It is a process that is based on skill development instead of focusing on content standards. We spent the majority of the first quarter of the year building community by establishing norms, and cultivating student curiosity. Now, we are at the point in the semester where student interests have been developed and they are able to select a focus for an individual project. All projects are multi-layered. They will have a science, math, English, and history portion covering the traditional high school subjects.
The exciting part of cocreating curriculum is helping our students develop 21st century skills instead of teaching to a test. This allows students to feel empowered about their learning and have some agency in their skill development. In addition to including the traditional high school subjects, the five 21st Century Skill Standards created by Battelle for Kids, the creators of the Framework for 21st Century Learning, will be woven into the projects. The five standards are global awareness, financial and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy, and environmental literacy.
Our students have selected a wide range of topics to study for their projects. We have students who are planning to learn about epigenetics and trauma, vaccines, and the US government. They will be learning how to research, think critically, and apply what they learned to help them understand the world around them and make informed decisions. Their projects are just beginning to unfold, and I am eager to continue to watch their progress. More to come in a few weeks!