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Learning Through Community Engagement

Session 6
Casey Cohen, Laurie Doran, Dr. Sheri Hanna — String Theory Schools, Apple Distinguished Educator (Casey)

The Learning through Community Engagement Panel Session will highlight projects and courses that three teachers from diverse disciplines (English, Fine Arts & STEM) at Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School have created that utilize the community of Philadelphia to provide unique and challenging learning opportunities for students.

The discussion will begin with an overview of our school and district philosophy and how that fosters community collaboration. Each of the teachers will briefly review projects or courses that engaged students with different Philadelphia communities for unique and higher level learning opportunities. Next, they will share four project/courses implemented over the last two years, including their purpose, design, and examples of student work. Student reflection on the learning impact of the experience will also be presented through video commentary and in person as students will be part of the presentation.

The discussion will then focus on how teachers and administrators can create, plan, and implement their own community engagement projects and courses in their classrooms or districts. It will conclude with the opportunity for session participants to brainstorm and discuss specific ideas and potential projects or courses they can use in their learning communities.

Conversational Practice

Throughout the discussion, there will be a hashtag (#engagecomm) that participants can use to share reflections, questions, and ideas. As the discussion progresses to the second part of the session when participants will talk about how they can apply the ideas presented in the first part of the session, all participants will collaborate on a shared Google Document to brainstorm ideas. This will enable participants to leave discussion with a set of notes they can use to implement a community engagement project in their learning community.

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