Engaging the Disengaged Observed in Talladega County

Education advocate Larry Lee recently published an editorial on what he calls “eye-popping” results after visiting two Talladega County schools.

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser October 30th, Lee’s observations bring to light the challenge of today’s “disengaged” students, and how Munford and Winterboro high schools discovered ways to get students more active in their own learning.
He writes, “At the core of this strategy is the fact that students learn the most when they are interested.” Lee is referring to the practice of “whole brain learning,” which was introduced to Munford High School by one of its math teachers, Anne Hopkins.  She learned about this method from her husband who teaches 5th grade.

Lee also attributes higher student engagement to Munford’s infusion of project-based learning into the curriculum, modeled by Winterboro High School that previously employed the use of this strategy and experienced dramatic improvements.

While not a new concept, project-based learning has been slow to catch on in many classrooms that are accustomed to traditional lecture-based practices. Munford’s principal, Anthony Wilkinson, explains in Lee’s story that it “is critical that students understand how what they are learning applies to the world beyond school.”

The Talladega County system is actively involved in the Alabama Best Practices Center’s Key Leaders and Powerful Conversations Networks. Winterboro High School has also hosted ABPC’s Instructional Rounds for the Instructional Partners Pilot program, and showcased its project-based learning strategy. ABPC is a division of A+ Education Partnership.

Click here to read Lee’s full editorial.

Click here for resources on Whole Brain Learning.

Click here for resources on Project-Based Learning.