Guest post by Taylor, a ninth grader in Pittsburgh
I’m an active ninth grader. I run track for my high school, am a spoken word artist and want to be a public speaker in the future. I am a member of Sisters e STEAM, an organization that empowers young women with hands-on science lessons that use different areas of STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Sisters e STEAM has changed school for me. It has shown me and the other women what science education can be and how learning can be fun. It takes what I love to do and matches it up with classes in a way that makes them interesting for me. That’s what personalized learning is to me. It means that what I learn fits who I am as a person and what my interests are.
Another group I am active with is Youth Leading Change, which was started by Dr. Temple Lovelace. This is a program that has let us create spoken word that talks about things that are important to young people and to young girls. Working with Miss Temple Lovelace has been fun. We get to do a lot of things that allow us to share how we feel with other people. Youth Leading Change gives us what we need to learn about lots of ways to share your voice. There is podcasting, photography, music, spoken word and making movies. Ms. Temple wants us to share the things that we care about and to think about how we would fix problems at school or in our community.
It is because I work with them that I got to join Remake Learning Days last Spring. At the event, I was able to work with students from other schools and share ideas about what we would like to see school be in the future.
During Remake Learning Days, we talked about the past, present and future. We were able to talk about things that were important to us now, things that happened in the past that were really important and how we ended up where we are today. Then we talked about how the past and the future are linked. How certain events in the past related to the events in the future. We also talked about what we would like to see changed about education in the future.
Just like Youth Leading Change teaches us how to be heard, Remake Learning Days made sure students were part of planning ahead for our community.
When I think about the future of learning in Pittsburgh, I hope we focus on new ways of learning that are fun and less on testing. Because I like spoken word, Youth Leading Change let us do spoken word in our classroom. Learning that way matched my interests.
I think that the future of education will be focused on students and what we like to do. The future of education will have classes that mean a lot to us and that help us to find our passion. The future of education has to be made for students and who they are and who they want to be.