ERIC Number: ED315541
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Considerations in the Design of the Work and Learning Center.
Stone, Calvin R.
Arguing that educational disadvantage, underachievement, and dropping out are problems that originate with schools as well as students, this document describes the Work and Learning Center in Madison, Wisconsin, that was designed to meet the needs of high school dropouts. The first section gives disadvantaged students' perspectives on the school social environment, the high school curriculum, high school completion, and work. Included are brief descriptions of relevant research findings that contribute to a theoretical framework that can guide educational planning in this area. The second section describes the Madison Work and Learning Center (WLC), begun in 1977 for severely disadvantaged students and dropouts. The section contains information on the social environment of the WLC, the WLC's graduation requirements, and community-based vocational education in the WLC's curriculum. The third section discusses barriers to effective educational planning for dropouts and potential dropouts, including a fragmented approach to school reform, the existing social dynamics of high schools, centralized curriculum planning and standards, and prerequisite courses for community-based training. A summary lists four common characteristics of successful programs such as the WLC: small (60-100) number of students; teachers' belief that they can be creative and inventive in responding to students' needs; teachers' sense of program "ownership"; and a cross-disciplinary team of teachers that fosters collegial relationships. The summary also encourages readers to imagine large high schools developing schools-within-schools that have these identified characteristics and attracting students from among those who would otherwise drop out. Five references are included. (CML)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Assessment of Vocational Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin (Madison)