Following the Bartleby Program’s success in the XQ Super School Project, select teachers and a freshman from Elizabethton High School are now participating in an invitation-only Massachusetts Institution of Technology course. The course, Launching Innovation in Schools: XQ Edition, educates participants about fundamentally changing the structure of high school with a focus on experiments and actions that are possible in the context of current work.
EHS representatives include Dustin Hensley, Jessica Hayes, Daniel Proffitt, Samuel Church, Alex Campbell, Patrick Roberts, Collin McHenry and student Veronica Watson. The group meets weekly through December and hopes the course will allow them to innovate new strategies for student success at EHS.
“Being able to take this course under MIT professors and with other innovators at our school and across the country has been such an honor,” said Hensley. “The ideas and examples that have been given through the readings and videos will go a long way in helping shape what Bartleby and EHS will become. It has also been great to work in our learning circle and have thoughtful discussions with other educators and our student representative.”
The course content, assignments, videos, and other resources are based on the work of Justin Reich (Assistant Professor, Comparative Media Studies, MIT) and Peter Senge (Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability, MIT Sloan School of Management). The focus is on visioning and capacity-building, with an emphasis on collaboration and building partnerships with stakeholders at multiple levels.
The EHS group is participating in the class as a learning circle, with Dustin Hensley acting as the facilitator for the weekly meetings. In these meetings, the group discusses how the information presented in the course can be used to improve instruction in the classroom and help foster an atmosphere of innovation throughout EHS. They collaborate to identify community partners, skills that will be most useful for graduates, how to measure success, and what students want.
EHS Principal Josh Boatman said it is an honor and opportunity for EHS faculty and students to collaborate with professors at MIT. “The interconnectedness of our society and job market, both locally and globally, is constantly expanding through the use of technology and collaboration,” said Boatman. “To be included and participate on the front line in this realm of academia is a testament to the dedication and desire of our faculty and student body. Our hope is that through continued opportunities such as this that our student body will continue to gain ground in the ever-changing educational landscape.”