Today’s world is constantly changing. The development of technology and industry has changed everything – even compared to just a few decades ago.
So why do we remain stuck accepting centuries-old definitions of schools, and schooling? Preparatory schools are a great example of this.
Traditionally, preparatory schools were created to prepare young students for college. Usually, prep schools focused on preparing children for an Ivy League education – and traditionally, this is still their association.
We may think of prep schools as “stuffy”, or reserved only for the wealthy, and the upper class. But at YouthBuild Prep, we don’t believe in preserving these old definitions of preparatory school.
We’re part of a new “urban prep” revolution that’s spreading across the country. Learn more now. By focusing on useful, day-to-day skills as well as traditional schooling, we’re preparing a new kind of student for our modern world.
By Cesar Ramirez, Construction Trainer
When I came to YouthBuild Providence as a student, it was because I felt it was my last chance to get my GED. I was tired of working warehouse jobs and wanted something better for myself. Joining YouthBuild, I realized that it was more than just a school, we’re a family.
When most students look at the clock hoping the bell would ring so they can run out into the world – Raul Lanzo stays back and take full advantage of teachers, tutors, and interns who are ready and willing to offer additional assistance with projects, homework, and online classes.
Mr. Lanzo is 18 years old and a native of Syracuse, New York and dreams of becoming forensic specialist where he can help solve unsolved murders. He also plans to open a small barbershop while working on his dream.
Raul has a 4.0 GPA and a 98% attendance after making a promise to the Executive Director if he would be allowed to attend YouthBuild he would come to school every day and on time. Mr. Lanzo lived up to his end of the promise., he has only missed a day due to illness with permission for Mr. Hubbard. Raul is an obvious example of resilience and dedication.
Lucia Cipriano, a Student and Vice President of the Student Council at YouthBuild Providence pursuing her high school diploma with the hopes of becoming a police officer.
After graduation, Lucia plans to join the police Academy in hopes of working in narcotics. Currently, she works full-time at Memorial Hospital as a security officer while attending YouthBuild but maintains a 95% attendance record and a 3.85-grade point average.
Lucia recently went to Washington DC to represent YouthBuild Providence at the COYL. Because of her experience, she plans to join 1000 leaders network to be part of the conference of young leaders.
By Anthony Hubbard
Discourse about race dominates American life
‘Race’ is the ugly word that dominates American life in a near complete negative manner despite the fact that large portions of the country voted twice to elect an African American president. The term race forces us to confront horrid factors such as institutionalized discrimination, widespread poverty and paranoia, distrust and despair, criminal justice failings, police brutality, and widespread racial discrimination.
In the current scenario, conversations about race extend well beyond the plight of millions of blacks. It covers Latinos, Asians, Muslims, and several persecuted minorities. Open up a prominent national newspaper or switch on cable news, and you’ll find several horrific news stories that ensure that racism remains an omnipresent conversational topic and with good reason. At most schools and colleges, we fail to sensitize America’s children about race issues at an age when their minds are very vulnerable to internalizing subtle forms of racism. Successful classroom engagement is essential to reducing problems related to race in our society.
By Anthony Hubbard
As it is happening with the majority of professions today, one can witness rapid growth and development in the field of teaching too. The developments are primarily driven by technological and social changes.
Teachers working in the modern classroom environment are gradually acknowledging and accepting that there is in fact a need to make changes to the traditional teaching approach. They are now looking at students as eager participants who wish to be actively involved in the process of attaining knowledge. The teacher is no longer a mere source of information or someone who demonstrates “correct solutions”.
All over the world, teachers are placing an increased emphasis on making learning a well-structured process. This means including a range of different student-oriented activities, such as project work, in the teaching plan so that the classroom inhabitants can enjoy greater autonomy.
One of the preferred modern teaching methods, often termed as ‘engagement’, is designed to encourage students to interact with the real world. This means analyzing what happens in different spheres of life, i.e. social sphere, economical, sphere, business sphere etc. As opposed to traditional teaching techniques which are restricted to the classroom space, students are taken for visits to local businesses. Here, they get an opportunity to see the actual application of concepts which they learnt in the classroom.
Open classroom discussions
Modern teaching practices are centered on having open classroom discussions as well as collaborations. This helps encourage the students to come up with their own ideas and makes it easier to implement new teaching methods. Teachers are suggested to allow their students to ask questions and really make an effort to listen to them.
Personal dialogue with the students is a very important part of modern teaching. Students don’t always like getting answers from textbooks or the Internet. They enjoy having healthy, intriguing discussions on various subjects as it allows them to develop their own perspectives and opinions.
Technology and Innovation vs. Emotional and Mental Development
While on the one hand, it is true that modern teachers should be willing to try new and innovative concepts and teaching skills (educational apps, electronic teaching devices etc.); it does have its downside too. The youth is becoming more and more tech-oriented and though it is good to retain the essence of classroom teaching, it might be helpful to bring in some technology so that there is greater alignment with the modern learning styles.
But the concern regarding the use of computers and modern technology, especially at a younger age is that it could not only have a negative impact on the child’s physical health, but also his/her intellectual and emotional well-being.
A greater number of students are complaining of serious physical ailments affecting their spine, neck, eyes etc. due to the excessive amount of time spent working on computers and other electronic devices. Whether its research or project work, technology does end up affecting the health of the youth. It also leaves minimal time for human interaction and creative play. This in turn has a negative impact on their intellectual, emotional and social well-being.