The Channel 

Take a peek into the classes and thinking of the teachers who are designing solutions to the problems faced by schools, parents and students.

What Redesigning School Looks Like: The Story of Engineering

How do we learn hard things?

At Hawken, we’ve designed a series of courses we call Macros like Engineering, a three-credit honors course that meets several times a week for much of a school day. During that time, students tackle real engineering design problems in teams and present their solutions to expert engineers and clients.

The result: enduring learning and students who surprise themselves with all they can do.

What Redesigning School Looks Like: The Story of PHD

We tried an experiment. We reclaimed the hours that 9th graders spend in science, English, and art classes and created a semester-long course called PHD — as in, Physics, Humanities, and Design. Students met for three hours at a time to solve real-world problems such as designing a house for an architect or working with NASA scientists to figure out how to send people to Mars. We wanted to see if students could learn hard things, build critical skills, and reconnect with a love of learning. You can see the results for yourself.

Why Redesign School?

It’s a fair question that elicits a lot of different answers. When you boil it all down, Hawken is redesigning school to ensure that students are ready and eager to engage with the world’s promises and problems. We’re redesigning and reimagining in all divisions and in all ways, including developing a new high school in University Circle — the Mastery School of Hawken.

Designing the Ideal High School

In November 2018, a group of Hawken seniors signed up for a class called “Designing the Ideal High School.” They thought the course was self-explanatory; they’d tell their teachers everything they would do differently if they were in charge. On the second day of class, they learned a secret…

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