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CHANGING THE SUBJECT
TWENTY YEARS OF PROJECTS FROM HIGH TECH HIGH
Of the thousands of projects High Tech High teachers and students have undertaken since the first school opened in 2000, the fifty documented in this book and website are a mere sampling; we hope they provide inspiration and a starting place for many more creative iterations. We curated them by asking current and former teachers (now numbering in the hundreds) to nominate work that was both inspiring and replicable.
WHY CHANGING THE SUBJECT
Larry Rosenstock and Rob Riordan were once asked “What should students know in the 21st century”? Their response, never published, but passed from e-mail to e-mail by many teachers, was a two page article entitled “Changing the Subject”. Their answer, in brief, was that in this age of ubiquitous and accessible information, it matters less what students know than what they can do.
“When we learn—really learn—we transform the content, the self, and the social relations of teaching and learning, “ they wrote. “This is what it means to change the subject.”
“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge and fruitful understanding except as the offspring of doing…[People] have to do something to the things that they wish to find out about; they have to alter conditions. This is the lesson of the laboratory method, and this is the lesson which all education has to learn.” -1916
(John Dewey, Democracy and Education, page 340)
ABOUT THE WISE PRIZE
The WISE Prize in Education, established in 2011 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, intends to “raise global awareness of the crucial role of education in all societies, and create a platform for innovative and practical solutions that might help alleviate some of the challenges which education faces around the world.”
When Larry Rosenstock learned he was a finalist for the WISE Prize in Education, he was asked what he would do with the prize money if he won. His response, “I’d like to share the work of High Tech High students and teachers with the world,” sparked the idea for this book and its accompanying website.