Join the Share your Learning Campaign
Increase student engagement by making learning public
Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school in the United States. That’s over 1.2 million students each year. And for every student who drops out of school, hundreds more are disengaged. Even students who do well in school report feeling discouraged about their future and disengaged, whether they attend an urban, rural or suburban school. In fact, by the time students reach their junior year in high school, only 32% report feeling engaged.
Meet Anthony and Sofia.
Anthony struggled in school, rarely turned in his work or participated in class,
and was truant much of middle school.
Sofia had always done well in school, but she couldn’t remember the last time she felt excited about something she was learning. She went through the motions. School was just a thing to endure.
Then Anthony started high school, and Sofia started middle school.
Both entered schools where they are known well, challenged and supported in deeper learning, and engaged in work that matters to them.
Both of their schools believe in having students share their learning with those who matter to them most – their peers, parents, teachers, mentors, community members.
Each year, Anthony’s high school hosts an exhibition night celebrating their students’ work and their students’ voices. When Anthony walked onto the stage at the end of his 10th grade year, he read the first line of a story he had been working on for months, “It’s tough being a black boy in Chicago.” He felt heard. He felt visible.
At Sofia’s middle school, all students present their learning to a panel at the end of the semester. It’s a rite of passage, a chance to reflect on their successes, their struggles, and their goals moving forward. For the first time, Sofia felt the same anxious excitement she did before one of her basketball games. People were going to see her work, and she wanted it to be her best. It was more than a grade.
Whether we teach in an urban, rural or suburban school,
whatever age of students we teach,
we became educators to make a difference for the Anthonys and the Sofias of the world.
We know that schools can be places of hope and inspiration,
where students envision new possibilities for themselves
and pursue deeper learning with purpose and passion.
When students share their learning with an authentic audience we provide them with an opportunity to share their story, reflect on their growth, and engage in real dialogue with others about their learning and their futures.
We ensure that they are known.
We communicate that their work has value.
We bring together schools and communities.
Let’s help all students share their learning.
Join the movement to help 5 million students publicly share their learning each year by June 2020. Be one of 300,000 teachers committed and connected across the nation to transform schools into centers of engagement and hope.
Whether you are a teacher or a school, district, or state leader, once you commit, you will receive a handy toolkit with everything you need to help students share their learning. You’ll also be connected with thousands of educators across the country who are working – like you – to make student learning visible in their schools and communities.
Whichever practice you choose, good sharing involves these core elements:
- Quality Work: Are students proud of the work, and is the work worthy of pride? Let’s create opportunities for students to reflect on their learning, grounded in evidence/artifacts that demonstrate deeper learning and engagement.
- Authentic Audience: Are students presenting their work and learning to an audience beyond the classroom (i.e. not just the teacher)? If they are, they will want it to be good.
- Equity: Are all students being provided the opportunity to showcase their work and critically reflect on their learning, both the successes and areas for growth? Every student deserves the chance to celebrate, reflect, plot a course forward, and ask for the support they need.
- Dialogue: Are students engaged in a reciprocal exchange of ideas with adults and peers? Sure, we want students to learn presentation skills, but we also want to provide them with opportunities to think on their feet and respond to questions and ideas in the moment.