students to discuss lessons about integrity and attitude that could be drawn from a poem they were reading together; science classes focused heavily on maintaining precision, discipline, and attentiveness during laboratory activities. The faculty has centered its curriculum improvement efforts on learning about and implementing ideas from Bloom’s taxonomy and the theory of multiple intelligences in their lesson planning. One of the MSAP-funded resource teachers provides the training. 36 The program also builds a strong, supportive community around its members—both faculty and students—that insists on individual effort, teamwork and mutual responsibility, discipline, and respect. Displays on school walls reflect both the instructional focus on character building and an appreciation for individual students’ accomplishments. While the hallways display students’ artwork, most classrooms display posters bearing inspirational messages such as “Have a backbone, not a wishbone.” Students are explicitly instructed to be their brothers’ keepers, and faculty are encouraged to get to the root of behavioral problems and deal with them directly rather than refer them to a higher authority for disciplinary action. Committees of faculty and students rather than a single disciplinarian address many behavioral issues. Every classroom we visited shared an atmosphere of discipline and order. 36 An understanding of Bloom’s taxonomy would lead teachers to examine the intellectual skills that are tapped by their instruction and to ensure that students are called upon to use higher-order as well as lower-order thinking skills. An understanding of multiple intelligences would prompt them to design instruction that engaged a variety of students’ intelligences—visual, musical, kinesthetic—in understanding and applying academic content. 199
Evaluation of the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, 1998 Grantees: Case Studies District G MSAP high school No. 2, District G’s health, business and technology magnet, offers two specialized courses of study—business and health—each of which emphasizes the use of technology. Students typically choose one or the other of these strands by the beginning of their junior year. Although the program prepares students for postsecondary education as well as entry- level jobs in their fields of interest, the specialized courses appeared to focus heavily on practical rather than theoretical issues, which will allow students to begin work directly out of high school. For example, the business strand offers a variety of courses such as business communications and desktop publishing. Students interested in pursuing health- related careers enjoy a variety of learning opportunities. The school maintains a “hospital ward” in which students are familiarized with nearly every aspect of treatment. Students can also take courses in emergency medical services and CPR. A combination of federal and state magnet funds as well as in-kind contributions from the
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- Spring '16
- Mrs. Mckenzie
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, ........., School types, Magnet Schools Assistance Program