Quincy Innovation Academy students show competency in Exhibitions
Fifth in a series
“Times have changed so much that parents puzzle over how to guide their sons and daughters toward a career” – says the Wall Street Journal article “The Job Advice You Wish You Knew How to Give” May 9, 2019.
Children will enter a job market their parents barely recognize – and where competition for entry-level jobs is fierce, despite the tight labor market. The article stresses how students need to build practical skills much earlier than in the past and advises them to do two to four internships before graduating to acquire the analytical, technical and interpersonal skills they may not learn in classrooms. It goes on to say that the old career ladders many parents climbed are gone. Labor Department data show that the number of potential occupations has more than doubled since the early 1990s. Young adults need a longer runway just to explore their options.
That being said – Big Picture Learning at Quincy Innovation Academy stresses the importance of acquiring a cross-disciplinary approach to learning “21st Century Skills,” a term that refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others, to be critically important to success in today’s world – particularly in collegiate programs and contemporary careers and workplaces.
In Big Picture Learning – “Exhibitions” are a student’s required demonstration of competency. An Exhibition is a presentation and evaluation by an audience that includes their teaching adviser, community members, support staff, parent and/or family members and goes well beyond a “show and tell” opportunity. Students will discuss their projects, internships, job shadows, community service, and all other high school requirements.
“Exhibitions” are typically designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, goal setting, or technological and online literacy – skills that will help prepare them for what they will face in college, modern careers, and adult life. This requirement is a focus on the authenticity of what they have learned – and separates basic knowledge from conceptual understanding, something they will need in order to move on to higher learning and a world where information and knowledge are increasing at an astronomical rate.
For this reason, students need to be taught how to process, analyze, and use information, and they need adaptable skills they can apply in all areas of life. Teaching ideas and facts without teaching them how to use them in a real-life setting is no longer enough.
After an Exhibition, the student and the audience discuss, as a team, their thoughts on the exhibition. It is at this point where it is determined if the student has met all the required benchmarks which would allow them to “level up.”
We hope you have enjoyed reading our series on “Big Picture Learning” at Quincy Innovation Academy. We welcome tours of our school daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open registration for any student in grades 7-12 is on May 15. We are looking forward to meeting and sharing more with you!
By the staff of Quincy Innovation Academy