At your ideal school, you wouldn’t divide your learning into individual segments — math, science, English, history, etc. Instead, you’d connect your learning with real world experiences that require you to develop more than one skill at a time and develop practical skills for problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. You’ll do this by constructing a personalized Learning Plan that steers you toward excellence in our five Learning Goals.
How do you take in and express ideas? What do you want to get across when you communicate? This learning goal asks students to think about their audience, to discover and work with a wide variety of reading materials, to develop listening and interviewing skills, to become proficient in using technology to communicate, to approach subjects creatively, and to consider other languages.
How do you prove that something is true? This learning goals asks our students to think like a scientist, to develop essential questions, research previous studies, formulate hypotheses, design tests and understand controls, collect and analyze data, question their conclusions, and exhibit their results.
How do you measure, compare, and represent the data related to your subject? The QR learning goal focuses students to become quantitatively literate, to use numbers to evaluate their hypotheses, to collect and operate on numerical information, generate estimates, measure shapes, spot trends, make predictions, show correlations, and represent patterns using formulas, diagrams, and graphs. It asks them to approach their subject thinking like a mathematician.
What are other people’s perspectives on the subject? Students with a strong sense of social reasoning look at diverse communities to discover the effects of their subject. They ask “Who cares about this? To whom is it important?” They look at the history of the subject, how it has changed over time, and investigate who has benefitted and who has been harmed. They uncover people’s beliefs about the subject, map the social systems in place around it, ask themselves the ethical questions generated by it, and reflect on what should be done about it. They think like historians and like anthropologists.
What do you bring to this process? The PQ learning goal forces students to reflect on their own abilities as a learner and as an human being. It helps them develop a sense of respect, empathy, responsibility, honesty, and perseverance. It teaches time management and organization, leadership and cooperation. It also seeks to enhance their sense of community.
Putting It All Together
Everything you do at LiHigh School will be addressed toward one or more of those Learning Goals, but it will almost always come from your unique interests and passions.
For example, if you’re interested in hunting and fishing, the Quantitative Reasoning part of your Learning Plan might see you surveying the number of trout in a local river, while Empirical Reasoning might ask you to prove that deer are more active when the barometric pressure is changing. For Communications, maybe you’ll blog about your ice-fishing adventures during the winter season. For Social Reasoning, maybe you’ll write a paper about the importance hunting can play in the strengthening of family bonds. And for Personal Qualities, maybe you’ll take a group of schoolchildren fishing, helping you develop your leadership skills while also serving the greater community.
But here’s the best part: if you’re a student who is more interested in — say, opera — rather than hunting and fishing, then your Learning Plan will be completely different!
LiHigh School doesn’t try to fit our students into a predetermined mold. Instead, we help them to become better versions of what they already are.