August 11, 2017

Hybrid High?

Did I mention that my children are homeschooled? I was recently challenged about being a public educator and a homeschool parent. Really? The best possible model for instruction is 1 to 1 regardless of setting. That’s difficult to achieve in a public classroom; it’s much easier if you have a parent willing to stay home with a child and devote their time to his or her learning. Another option is alternative education. No, not continuation school, although that is a wonderful option when it fits the needs of the student. I’m talking about a hybrid model that supports individual students.

Independent study is an option that some students exercise within the public school setting. They are not dependent on a teacher to pace a class, or focus the instruction based on the needs of all of the students in a class. They do not have to go to a building, or wait until tomorrow for their next class session. Instead, the independent study student meets with a credentialed teacher to set his or her own academic goals. The student is then free to pursue their education on their own schedule checking back in with the teacher to assess their progress.

The industrial model of education no longer fits our technological world. Teachers are the facilitators of knowledge, not the keepers. Flipped classrooms, online courses, and alternative education settings are all excellent options for students who want more from their education than they are currently experiencing in the 6-7 period day and the 35+:1 classroom. I believe that a new hybrid model of education that embraces all of the educational resources available, maintains the rigor and relevance of current courses, and that supports students pursuing their own academic interests without restraint is the best possible preparation for college, career, and life.