Academic Innovations
Academic Innovations

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Fundable Projects - Team and Cluster Concept

Many projects are appropriate for Carl Perkins funding. Perhaps an ideal program is one that encompasses the goals of Perkins and educational reform. Here is an example of a restructuring project that is now in place in a high school in California. The concept starts with structure.

    All entering ninth graders are assigned to a house (or cluster or school-within-a-school). There are approximately 110 students in each of four separate houses. Each house is assigned a team of three core teachers-math, language arts, and social studies. The team has a common prep period, allowing teachers to discuss and get to know various students, give more attention to individuals with problems, and develop a feeling of community.

    The team uses Career Choices as an interdisciplinary program. The language arts teacher instructs the first three chapters, then turns Career Choices over to the math teacher for Chapter 4 (the budget exercise). The social studies teacher works on the issues of poverty and other related topics. Essentially, each teacher takes sections of the curricula that complement their discipline.

This type of integrated and interdisciplinary career guidance is precisely what Perkins drafters had in mind-integration of academics and technical education. This also speaks to the recent movement in school reform toward more integrated and contextual learning for all students. The new emphasis on measurable standards in both Perkins and school reform are also met with Career Choices, especially when using Lifestyle Math and Possibilities as supplements.

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