Welcome to Education Unimagined, where current and former students share how they imagine education and schools could be regarding student leadership! It’s time for a change in education, we need to empower our youth with both education and leadership so that they can take up the mantle of our future. What are we doing to empower students who want to make a difference? When we say an educator’s job is to inspire the future generation, we should take this seriously. So why not start imagining what could be, and that starts with listening to the voices of students? How about a particular school where all students are encouraged and supported in leadership roles that are relevant to their personal interests? In many ways, schools can be devoted exclusively to student aspirations while Education Unimagined is an opportunity to give students a voice, in a system where often their voices are unheard. We ask them to share their experiences and offer advice on how we can do better for all.
Wednesday Feb 01, 2023
Wednesday Feb 01, 2023
Sarah Hunt, M. Ed. has more than 20 years of classroom instructing and school leadership expertise. She has implemented, led, and built an entire school-wide experiential learning program. Additionally, as an experienced Project-Based Learning (PBL) educator, her students learned by working on real-world, personally relevant projects. She also has served on countless strategy teams and school boards tasked with evaluating, implementing, and launching new school initiatives. Sarah is also the recipient of the 2019 NSEE Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education: K-12 award.
In this episode, Sarah talks to us about Authentic Learning, and how this approach to education not only enhances the ability to engage student voice, but it is also a great strategy for engaging and motivating students. It isn’t easy, but Sarah gives some steps on how to incorporate it into your classroom practices. There is no doubt Sarah is passionate about Authentic Learning and she would love to talk to any interested educator about their ideas.
Sarah and I talk about how authentic learning developed for her as an educator. She noticed that it felt more relevant to give students opportunities to connect what they were learning to the real world. Her students became more invested and their learning was on a deeper level.
Since starting she has known that project-based learning and authentic learning were more valuable, and she has worked with some great educators, to understand the research behind the benefits.
Sarah is always trying to find ways to give students voice and choice in the classroom. One of the best things we can do as a teacher is to put ourselves in our student's shoes and try to remember what it was like for us to be seen and valued and heard.
As a consultant, she shares how she works with educators to shift the way that they're teaching, and add more authenticity to their curriculum. She dispels the idea that authentic learning is an approach in which kids can learn whatever they want, and learning doesn't really matter. Authentic learning has standards we want them to meet. There's flexibility in how you get there.
Sarah shares that the most critical aspect of teaching is creating a relationship, so her students feel like she cares about who they are as an individual, more than she cares about who they are as a student.
Sarah shares resources
Another colleague who's also trying it.
Her organization Purposeful development
What is Purposeful Development:
Teaching teachers how to teach and improving the environment.
Professional development on how authentic learning can improve student motivation.
Consulting on how you can improve your programming.
Implementation build a school-wide experiential learning program and helps you implement it.
Sarah’s email: email@example.com