Beth Glenn's Learning Story


My transformative learning experience took place in an accelerated high school where juniors and seniors were exposed to college-level work and scheduling in a boarding school environment. There were no class rankings, so my 250 classmates and I were free to explore our interests in challenging courses we might otherwise have avoided. And we were freed from competition with one another. Since the stakes were low, we could aim as high as we liked. There were tutorial sessions four nights per week, with professors and classmates available to help.The work was so challenging that seeking tutoring was seen as the expected norm, rather than stigmatized.
We were also socialized to believe we should help one another in formal and informal settings. We were each paired with an adviser who helped us manage our schedules, course requirements and after-school goals. And we were given time away from formal classwork to pursue an interdisciplinary project designed on our personal interests. Seniors exhibited their work in a week when classes were suspended. We were also expected to engage in service as a graduation requirement and to balance our studies with social engagements. The residential staff helped us balance our various commitments and develop life skills I still carry with me today.
So my experience was transformative because learning was project-based, interdisciplinary, tailored to my interests, cooperative, challenging and allowed me to demonstrate my learning, contribute to my community within and outside school and develop balance between competing aspects of my life.