Thursday, December 1, 2016

Making learning real - an authentic audience

One of the keys to helping students find meaning and relevance in their work is to create the opportunity for them to share / experience their learning in the context of an authentic audience.   One such experience came a couple weeks ago when the Alpha Team skyped with Rutland Mayor Louras.   Here is a summary of that experience written by a couple of the Alpha participants.  

Live question and answer time with the Mayor of Rutland - timely critical thinking around the topic of sanctuary cities

Skype Session with the Mayor - 
written by Mackenzie and Olivia 

Currently, the Alpha team is studying, Changing Life in the U.S.  For the past few weeks we have been researching, close reading, and discussing the topics of refugee resettlement, immigration, and emigration.  On November 9, the entire Alpha team came together to skype with Mayor Christopher Louras, the current mayor of Rutland.  We have read so much about refugee resettlement and we wanted to discuss Mayor Louras’ decision of letting 100 refugees resettle in Rutland.  He graciously afforded us  the opportunity to further our understanding of refugees, resettlement, and the current situation in Rutland.

During this skype session, we asked about 20 questions regarding the origin, process, and impact of his decision to resettle these people from Syria and Iraq. Mayor Louras spent around an hour and a half with us. We sat through some detailed and meaningful responses to our questions and had the chance to ask some follow-up questions as well. It was a great learning experience because we were able to share concerns, find out more about the situation and hear how decisions were made. Everyone left with a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind this resettlement, the process Rutland went through to make it happen and the potential impacts the decision will have on Rutland and surrounding communities.  

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