|Kohlberg's Baby All Grown Up & Thriving after 30+ Years: The Just Community School in Scarsdale|
Uploaded by: Jennifer Govan
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries' Education Program, University Seminar on Innovation in Education
Tags: alternative education, Kohlberg, Scarsdale, university seminar
Description/Abstract: One of the most important innovative programs in American secondary education is the Alternative School at the Scarsdale High School, which since 1978 has been implementing the Just Community model created by Lawrence Kohlberg, the renowned pioneer of Moral Education. The model is based on the belief that certain conditions can promote more complex moral reasoning and behavior, and, hence, more engaged and effective democratic citizens.
These conditions include:
Open discussion focusing on fairness, community, and morality,
Cognitive conflict stimulated by exposure to different points of view and higher stage reasoning,
Participation in rule making and rule enforcement and the public exercise of power and responsibility, and
The development of community or group solidarity at a high stage.
This presentation and panel discussion will demonstrate the way the A-School utilizes its structures -- Community Meeting, Agenda Committee, Core Group, Advisor Meeting, Fairness Committee, and January Internship -- to foster these conditions and to promote this kind of growth in a suburban college-bound population of eighty students grade 10 through 12.
The director will provide a brief historical review of the school's journey to its current status as a school-within-a school that elicits over one hundred applications for the twenty-six spaces available in its sophomore class. Then, staff and students will present a portrait of how this very structured approach to character education, civic education, and academic education looks to those who "own" their education. Challenges faced by the school and research describing how the program affects its community members will be presented and referenced as part of the session.
The presenters look forward to a dialogue with the audience about the possibilities and difficulties faced by adults and adolescents working together in such a progressive endeavor, especially given the current test-driven, "no child left," pseudo-intellectual direction of much American education on both the state and national scene.
Jeanne Cooper, English teacher, Scarsdale Alternative School
Howard Rodstein, director, Scarsdale Alternative School
James Williams, science teacher, Scarsdale Alternative School
A panel of seniors, current community members of the class of 2012
Jointly sponsored by the University Seminar on Ethics, Moral Education, and Society, this seminar is part of the 2011-2012 season of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education which is co-chaired by Ronald Gross who also conducts the Socratic Conversations at the Gottesman Libraries; and Robert McClintock, John L. and Sue Ann Weinberg Professor Emeritus in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Teachers College. Founded in 1970, the Seminar explores the process of learning in individuals, organizations, and society, throughout the lifespan and via major institutions.
Where: 305 Russell