Leaving to Learn: How Out-of-School Learning Increases Student Engagement and Reduces Dropout Rates

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Urban Fox Studios, Oct 11, 2013 - Education
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In this provocative book, authors Washor and Mojkowski observe that beneath the worrisome levels of dropouts from our nation’s high school lurks a more insidious problem: student disengagement from school and from deep and productive learning. To keep students in school and engaged as productive learners through to graduation, schools must provide experiences in which all students do some of their learning outside school as a formal part of their programs of study. All students need to leave school—frequently, regularly, and, of course, temporarily—to stay in school and persist in their learning. To accomplish this, schools must combine academic learning with experiential learning, allowing students to bring real-world learning back into the school, where it should be recognized, assessed, and awarded academic credit. Learning outside of school, as a complement to in-school learning, provides opportunities for deep engagement in rigorous learning.

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About the author (2013)

Elliot Washor co-founded and co-directs Big Picture Learning. Involved in school reform for more than 35 years as a teacher, principal, writer, and speaker, Elliot has worked all over the world designing and developing innovative schools that provide engaging learning environments for students and adults. Elliot’s interests lie in how schools connect with communities to credit learning that occurs both in and outside of school. The George Lucas Foundation has selected Elliot as one of The Daring Dozen—The Twelve Most Daring Educators.

Elliot lives in sunny San Diego with his wife and their Portuguese Podengo Pequenos. You can e-mail Elliot at ewashor@gmail.com.

Charles Mojkowski has worked as a consultant to education and business organizations for more than 35 years. He works primarily in the areas of school, program, and curriculum design; leadership and organizational development; and innovative applications of technology in these areas. He has authored numerous articles on unconventional designs for schools and schooling. He is a former English teacher, elementary school assistant principal, and administrator in the Rhode Island Department of Education. He was also an Associate Professor in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Cranston, Rhode Island, with Corinne, his wife of 45 years. You can email Charles at cmojkowski@mac.com.