By Dennis Littky with Samantha Grabelle
by Eliot Levine, Tom Peters (Afterword by Dennis Littky & Elliot Washor)
Advisor Guide 101
PDF Format, 444 pages
An introduction to the structures, processes, and goals of a Big Picture Learning school. This guide is designed for 9th grade and/or new advisors.
Using Big Picture Learning’s ten distinguishers as a basis for organization, the Advisor Guide 101 is a comprehensive introduction and handbook that helps prepare new advisors for their role within their Big Picture school community. The main purpose of this guide is to give advisors an essential background in the Big Picture design and provide creative ideas at their fingertips to help ease the transition into their new position. It is chock full of learning tools, explanatory language, activity suggestions, forms to assist in student and advisor organization, as well as educational theory and pedagogical know-how.
Advisor Guide 201
PDF Format, 255 pages
To be used in tandem with Advisor Guide 101, this volume contains additional curricular resources as well as guiding information about the culminating event of a Big Picture student’s tenth grade year: the Gateway exhibition.
Advisor Guide 201 uses Big Picture’s ten distinguishers as a basis for organization, and builds upon the knowledge gained as a first year advisor. It focuses on the ways in which a student can change and grow as a learner from ninth to tenth grade, and provides learning tools, pedagogy, and activities to help support that process of maturation. The main focus of this guide is Gateway – the process of acceptance into eleventh grade that each tenth grader undergoes.
A process that aids growth as well as a way to evaluate it, each tenth grader is aware of their personalized requirements for Gateway early in the year and is asked to demonstrate the completion of these requirements by their Gateway exhibition at the end of the school year. This guide helps elucidate the ways an advisor works with a student to create, attain, and achieve success in the Gateway process.
Learning Through Interest Coordinator Guide
PDF Format, 202 pages
This guide presents Big Picture’s rationale for the necessity of real world learning, lays the foundation of the Learning through Interest element within its educational design, and guides the user through the interest exploration and internship processes.
The concept of Real World Learning necessitates a deep understanding of the student and intentionality in planning and reflection. People master skills and learn knowledge when they either have a clear need for it or when they have an innate curiosity about it and/or interest in it. Real World Learning can take many forms, but the cornerstone of the Real World Learning pedagogy at Big Picture schools is the Learning through Interest internship program. The Big Picture’s LTI program has im¬portant differences from traditional intern¬ship programs which are designed to train students for specific jobs or move students forward on specific career paths; instead, the LTI is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to learn across all of the Learning Goals while working closely with an adult with similar interests. The LTI Program philosophy is soundly based in research which demonstrates that we learn best when we are motivated to learn; and we are motivated to learn when what we are learning about is real, and we are passionate about its pursuit. Thus, the LTI search and placement is a very personal process during which the Learning Plan team helps the student look deeply within herself to find out what objects, ideas, or questions are of interest to her. This interest is then given primary importance in guiding the internship process.
Big Picture Learning uses the LTI as a real world opportunity for students to learn from the interplay of hand/body and mind, and to learn from the interaction between the individual and the world around her, to learn from the messiness of real world planning, critical thinking and problem solving.
PDF Format, 48 pages
Designed for mentors entering into the mentor/mentee relationship in a Big Picture school. What are the philosophies surrounding our internship program? What is a mentor’s role imagined to be? How is a mentor asked to be involved in a student’s learning?
At Big Picture Schools we believe that education is everyone’s business. Learning opportunities are everywhere, not just inside classrooms. Research tells us that we learn best when we’re personally motivated; and when we have a passion for what we are doing, knowledge unfolds and evolves naturally. A mentor gives each student the opportunity to learn from an adult with a similar interest, and the focus on real work in a professional setting gives the student’s learning context and depth. Through genuine relationships, mentors teach a work ethic and model what it means to be an adult member of our community.
This guide will help elucidate the processes and responsibilities associated with being a mentor within a Big Picture Learning school, as well as help provide a foundation for understanding why we believe the real world is the best place for authentic learning to take place.
Big Picture Learning Cycle Reference Guide
PDF Format, 144 pages
Designed for students (but extremely useful for anyone new to Big Picture’s design), this guide identifies and clearly explains six major elements of Big Picture learning and how they intersect.
The Big Picture Learning Cycle can be broken down into the following six stages after starting with your interests and passions as a foundation for learning:
1. Make it work for you: the learning plan
2. Pursue your passions: internship placement
3. Make it real: Learning through Internship
4. Organize and do it
5. Exhibit it
6. Reflect and assess it
This guide breaks each element down into easy-to-understand parts. It provides specific student examples to lend a basis of understanding to each piece of the learning cycle as well as uses inquiry as a tool to challenge the learner to expand his/her understanding of the process. Although the learning cycle is fluid and dynamic, this guide is essential in understanding the interplay of its parts.
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