Big Picture Learning

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Beth White

The great John Dewey believed that we “learn best what we live,”—that individualized, first-hand experiences offer opportunity for individuals to develop deep understandings and interests. For me, an ideal learning environment is where transdisciplinary partnerships support personalized learning. These are places that offer experiences, events, and situations that inform, encourage, and reinforce students’ self-conceptualizations of future possibilities. Prior to coming to Big Picture Learning, I worked in a variety of New England schools, including The Met High School in Providence, RI (the “mother ship” of the Big Picture Learning Network). After 10 years as a high school teacher, I returned to the classroom and earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. My first-hand experiences include designing and running advisory programs, supporting democratically-oriented schooling, building service-learning and internship programs, teaching teachers and pre-service educators, and the designing and implementing alternative forms of assessment. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies with New Hampshire teaching certificates in biology and earth and space sciences from Antioch New England University.