The JLI gives students the opportunity to take initiative in their personal development.
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.