Editor’s Note: In early November of 2017, three of our Eagle Rock School students attended a Washington, D.C.-based event called “SparkHouse” that saw teens from 13 states share learner-centered experiences from their own schools. The event was produced by Education Reimagined — an initiative of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution that promotes a transformational vision for education in the U.S. Marcus attended SparkHouse with fellow Eagle Rock School students Levi Brooks and Spencer Lanier, along with Bea Salazar, our Life After Eagle Rock instructional specialist.
Marcus’ write-up about the experience appears below (for more information on SparkHouse, please visit the SparkHouse webpage):
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By Marcus Wade-Prince
This past November, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Washington, D.C., along with two other classmates and represent Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center as student ambassadors at SparkHouse.
For anyone who isn’t familiar, Eagle Rock School is an alternate form of high school that is dedicated to providing a student-centered education. The SparkHouse conference was about the movement of learner-centered education and brought together schools from across the country that are currently engaging in this form of education.
I knew there were other schools out there that did education differently, but what I didn’t know was that these schools were doing the same thing in so many different ways. Each school is dedicated to offering its students an education that is individualized and revolves around them as learners.
Once at the conference, we participated in a variety of activities, including distinguishing words through the philosophy of ontology, and building connections through different exercises, and participating in workshops aimed at helping us develop leadership skills.
I found it interesting how many of the participating schools focus on the student, and the number of different classes they offer their students. I discovered several classes that I would love to bring back to Eagle Rock School, including Business of Music, where students learn both math and communications as they apply to artists in the music profession.
This conference taught me that this alternative education movement can continue to thrive by students and educators getting together and sharing ideas and staying connected as learners who care about how we learn. It was an inspiration just to see all of us smiling about our own education and recognizing the differences from more traditional schools.
I am excited to share my experience in order to shed some light on a movement that enables students to take control of their education in a way that is relevant and sets us all up to achieve future objectives and goals. The movement is well underway and I am happy to be able to be one of the sparks lighting the fire so more students can receive the same opportunity that I have to get the most out of their education.