Students 13 to 20 years old, who are frustrated with the passive, one size fits all experience of conventional High School, who aren’t interested in having their learning reduced to a single alpha-numeric grade, and who feel as though cooperation, teamwork, and collaboration are natural to the learning process.
Huskie’s Heroes is perfect for students who want to be on a team with the shared purpose of mutual improvement and service to others, who have a strong desire to take control of their learning and their future, and who would benefit from a flexible curriculum that caters to their individual interests.
Huskie’s Heroes is a program that connects young people to meaningful work that they are interested in, passionate about, and therefore willing to do. I support them throughout the process – many teens are initially uncomfortable with taking initiative and being a self-directed learner. Once they realize their own efficacy and that they have agency over their education, they immediately gain new confidence. They take control over their own life which is an attitude that will serve them and everyone around them for the rest of their lives.
John Holt compared school to a bottling factory – the teachers have the information and they are tasked with filling the students’ heads. Some heads are like bottles with too small an opening, and those bottles need special education teachers. Others have very wide openings, and they wind up in honors classes. This is nothing new – Benjamin Franklin, Anne Sullivan, Albert Einstein, and Socrates all made similar observations.
Huskie’s Heroes believes that students aren’t bottles to be filled, or computers to be programmed. Learning is the business of the learner, and only when students are consenting to be taught are teachers useful. Teaching unwilling students and expecting them to retain anything beyond the latest test is fanciful thinking.
Therefore, the mission of Huskie’s Heroes is to nurture the character of young people by facilitating a wide variety of experiences that foster curiosity, responsibility, independence, self-confidence, and an ever-evolving relationship with themselves and with the world. With the support of mentors, and using the community as the curriculum, all students will direct their own learning, control their own lives, and value intention, relationships, and self-knowledge.