Madison HS Students Share Ideas for Healthier, Enriching Learning Experience

School News
December 19, 2019

students being interviewed on cameraThrough a student-centered project in Beth Blankenship's English 10 class at Madison High, students had the opportunity to share their ideas for a healthier and more enriching learning experience for current and future students. Students worked in pairs or groups to produce a presentation that would not only be presented in front of their peers,but would also be recorded for a segment featured on Ted Dintersmith's Innovation Playlist. 


Dintersmith, a 1970 graduate of Madison, has traveled the country talking with students about the high school experience. He shares a passion regarding the need for change in the way students are engaged in school. The work in Blankenship's classes focused on the same type of research Dintersmith has done: reducing unnecessary work done in classes, understanding how academic pressure relates to mental health, and adapting assessments to accommodate testing anxiety. 


The day of the class presentations, Dintersmith's film crew interviewed teachers, administrators, and students about the work being done at Madison to make school—and the process of learning—more relevant for students. In his interview, principal Greg Hood explained that a continual focus for the Madison faculty is to help students understand how they can use what they learn in school and apply it to any environment outside the school setting. 


Lainey, one of Blankenship's students, reflected on the process she and her classmates were asked to go through to complete their project, sharing that it was the first time of her high school career that she was passionate about the work she was doing in one of her core subject classes. Part of that passion came from the fact that she got to choose her topic (mental wellness) and the other part was because she was going to be able to share her product with her peers and inform them on the importance of mental wellness. 


After the students completed their presentations, they participated in a question and answer session where they answered questions from parents, administrators, and Dintersmith. Contact news liaison Francesca Branson at fmbranson@fcps.edu.