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21st Century Learning Models - A Different Reality
   
In recent years, a number of effective models have been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, State and Federal Government, industry partnerships, and other philanthropists. Here is a sampling of the most common models:
   
Career-Based Learning
  Career-Based LearningCareer academies and pathways prepare high school students for specific career fields. Special curricula in a school-within-a-school context and alignment with post-secondary degree and certificate programs characterize this model. Partnerships with industry reinforce the curriculum with real-world learning opportunities, in the classroom and in the workplace.
   
Project-Based Learning
  Project-Based LearningSpecial classes and even entire high schools offer students a team learning environment that helps develop the “soft skills” needed in the workplace: teamwork, accountability, leadership, initiative, etc. The teacher becomes a facilitator, enabling students to learn at an accelerated pace while they discover the value of each team member’s contributions as well as their own.
   
Work-Based Learning
  Work-Based LearningMany new learning models now emphasize actual on-the-job experience where students learn to apply their classroom knowledge. Industry partners offer internships, volunteer positions, or part-time jobs in collaboration with the schools. Most employers realize the benefits of identifying and mentoring future employees.
   
Professional Development for Teachers
  Professional Development for TeachersAll good learning models depend on good teachers. And, each teacher is a strong leverage point, impacting up to 150 students per year. Immersing teachers in industry brings workplace applications into the classroom. Industry academies, summer fellowships, and weekend retreats have proven to be effective in helping teachers teach workplace relevance.
   

Key Elements

  • Inspired teachers with relevant workplace knowledge
  • Adequate start-up funding for the first two years
  • Sustainability through partnerships, associations, and individual contributors
  • Long-term support from industry and the business community

 
An Education Partners Council serves California's Tri-Valley

In the summer of 2007 the Tri-Valley Business Council asked Workforce Incubator to build a coalition of leaders in industry and education to cultivate a world-class talent pool for Tri-Valley industries.

A summary of current projects is shown here.

 

Regional Workforce Development Summit for the emerging green economy

More than 100 attendees participated in an August 13 Summit to launch a regional workforce development strategy for the East Bay’s energy industry. Some 30 volunteers from industry, education, government and the nonprofit sector are now engaged in creating and executing that strategy.

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