DUBUQUE- A local school in Dubuque has an interesting new approach to the way its students learn.
Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School is taking part in an innovative new learning program that is changing the way both students and teachers look at education.
Sixth Grade teacher Kayti Frank and her classroom are the first to take part in the new EDGE program that is redefining how students learn. Frank explained that the program is a more personal way for the students to learn, giving them the chance to set their own lesson plans. She went more in depth stating, “It’s more the student’s in charge, they’re self-directed. They decide what they want to do when they want to do it, which has been great for the kids. This is much more engaging to students, because they get to go at their own pace, and they get to choose what they want to do.”
The program works similar to the dynamic of a college student with their advisor. Frank works as a mentor with her students, and will continue that even after they move on from sixth grade. Frank expressed the importance of this one-on-one dynamic by saying, “I meet with each kid ten minutes a week. So, in that time I get to know those kids not just on an education level, but on a personal level.”
About two dozen sixth grade students are involved in the school’s new EDGE program. These students are required set goals for themselves daily, and then self-evaluate at the end of the day. Lessons begin with Frank talking through them with the students at the beginning, and then letting the students work through them on their own. The program gets its name as an acronym standing for “Engage, Discern, Grow, and Excel.”
Mazzuchelli Principal Phillip Bormann agreed with Frank, showing his excitement for the future of the program. “We’re getting feedback constantly on their growth, where their struggles are, and we’re able to intervene.” Bormann spoke more on the improvements they’ve already seen, stating, “We see students who are already better planners, better thinkers, in terms of long term goals, short term goals, and finding ways to find success.”
While there is only one class involved in the program at this time, Bormann is optimistic about the future of EDGE, including its expansion into more classrooms. This expansion could even come as soon as next year.
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