Eighth Grade Students from New Meadows Take Action in Boise

A few months ago as a class of eighth graders was reading the Diary of Anne Frank and studying the holocaust in school, the Boise, Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was vandalized. The students wanted to take action and show their own commitment to human rights. The project was featured by a local Boise news station. The project highlights a strong example what is possible using the place-based principles. The project emerged out of the interests of the students and was skillfully facilitated by their teacher addressing the Learner-Centered principle. Based on their interests, students used a Design-Thinking approach to develop their own way to make a difference about human rights in their community. The teacher connected in geology and the science of engraving as one of many Interdisciplinary connections to the final product that they design. The project also got students thinking and taking action locally about a global human rights issue (Local to Global). The students needed to be out in the community presenting their idea and getting approval for it with the local school board and parks boards addressing the Community as Classroom principle. Inquiry-based practices were used by students so that they could learn about and understand how to go about getting the permissions necessary to place their own memorial at the school and at the Anne Frank Memorial. The New Meadows School and Meadows Valley School District are part of the Place Network this year and are engaged in a multi-year professional development sequence to connect their school more closely to their community. This example shows what is possible as students and teachers reach out to the community to work on projects of mutual interest and benefit.

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