Thursday, July 25, 2013

LINKED LEARNING STUDY: Career-based teaching leads to more motivated students

Jed Kim | KPCC Pass/Fail | | 89.3 KPCC |


The James Irvine Foundation released an interactive infographic on Linked Learning on July 22, 2013.  (following as a pdf)

July 25th, 2013, 6:00am  ::  Students who attend a high school where study plans are based on preparing for a specific career are more likely to graduate and continue on to postsecondary schools than their public school counterparts are, according to a recent study by UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

That's especially significant, because the schools that the were studied enrolled a higher than average percentage of students who are at risk of not graduating.

The teaching method is called Linked Learning. It teaches academics through career-based training. Participating schools focus on a career area such as healthcare, engineering or visual arts.  Students take clusters of courses and participate in internships centered around the career.

And the schools employ teachers with professional experience working in those fields.

Proponents say students are more engaged if they can see how the things they're learning apply to the real world. The UCLA study gives evidence that Linked Learning is working. The center has released a guidebook on how to start one of these programs.

Nine California school districts, including L.A. Unified, Long Beach Unified and Pasadena Unified, offer some Linked Learning classes. Dozens of other schools are trying out the initiative.

The James Irvine Foundation projects that 13,000 California high school students will be enrolled in Linked Learning pathways this year. The foundation has spent more than $100 million to develop Linked Learning. On Tuesday, it released an interactive infographic showing the teaching method's spread across California.

You can find a map of Linked Learning schools and academies in California here.

Irvine Foundation Infographic: Linked Learring by 4LAKids

New Report explores Linked Learning alumni trajectories

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IDEA News|

LL trajectories cover06-19-2013   ::  A new UCLA IDEA report examines how students who graduated from Linked Learning pathways are moving along in their postsecondary education attainment, employment and civic engagement.

Exploring the Educational, Labor Market, and Civic Trajectories of Young Adults who Attended Linked Learning Pathways: Survey and Interview Findings compared Linked Learning alumni with random sample of students who did not attend those pathways. Overall, the study found that, on average, students who attend Linked Learning high schools graduate at higher rates than students statewide. This is remarkable in itself, but even more so given that Linked Learning schools enroll greater numbers of students from groups at risk of not graduating.

Moreover, Linked Learning alumni are more likely to attend a postsecondary institution (2- or 4-year) versus not attend college at all compared to the random sample. However, we also found that attending a Linked Learning school does not increase the likelihood of employment for recent graduates or protect some of them from becoming disconnected altogether (i.e., neither in school nor working). Neither did attending a Linked Learning school increase the chances that recent graduates would become engaged in their communities.

Linked Learning is an approach to schooling that is gaining popularity as many high schools throughout the state seek to stem the tide of dropouts and a lack of college and career preparedness among graduates. Linked Learning brings together rigorous academics, a challenging theme- or career-based curriculum, and an opportunity to apply learning through real-world experiences. The participating sites were identified as part of IDEA's 2008 study.


Linked Learning Guidebook 2013 by 4LAKids

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