JLI classrooms support student-driven, inquiry-based learning to create informed thinkers and competent communicators.[/custom_font]
- “Sage on the Stage”
- Teacher has total authority
- Micromanaged students “stay in line” and don’t speak out of turn
- Students feel distanced from assignments
- Learning takes place in the classroom
- Technology as threat
- Students feel pride in learning and achieving good grades
- Students are excited about the assignment at hand
- “You don’t have the answers, I do”
- “Guide on the Side”
- Students question everything, including you
- Students speak up
- Students can explore their intrinsic interests
- Learning takes place anytime, anywhere
- Technology as tool
- Students feel pride in their community and themselves
- Students develop the tools and voice to communicate their excitement
- “Neither of us have the answers, so let’s discover them together”
Tying curricular content to contemporary themes engages students in authentic learning. Schoolwork becomes meaningful and less conceptual. Students connect class assignments to everyday life. Those who may appear “checked out” are actually asking themselves: ‘Why should I care?” When coursework is relevant, students thrive.
Encouraging exploration frees students to experiment, chart new paths, and grapple with complexity. Curricular emphasis shifts from memorizing facts to cultivating what JLI refers to as informed thinking – a deeper level of critical thinking.
Publishing is critical to journalistic learning. Students share the gift of their perspective with an authentic audience. It can be a transformative experience when young people discover that their informed opinions matter. While students are actively sharing online through various social media platforms, it often occurs without guidance from trained educators.
Journalistic Learning occurs when curricular power is shared between teachers and students; when students are no longer thought of as “empty vessels” to be filled. It occurs when they are genuinely acknowledged, not as content consumers, but as self-determined content creators with innate abilities. Meeting students where they are academically creates engaging learning environments where peers support one another through team-oriented projects.