“Learning by doing” is an oft quoted phrase attributed to John Dewey. And our analysis of this often follows the path of immersive learning, experiential learning--which seems to imply that in the act of doing, learning sticks.
And while I don’t disagree with this notion, Dewey was getting at far more than simple motor memory. Dewey’s theory on experience is more expansive than children coming to know by repeating behaviors--and far more profound. He theorizes that meaningful learning encounters in our environments are generative--for both the individual and their environments. And this cyclical exchange produces both individuals and communities that expand, grow, and transform because of the learning and knowledge that is generated.
In practice, what does this look like, and why does it matter? One place where we see Dewey’s theory of experience in action is through the work of the Student Government. It is a powerful exemplar of this notion that iterations--each new group of students elected--create and implement experiences for our students that significantly move us forward in the ways we relate to each other in our community. Ideas accumulate, and ways of knowing lead to solutions that are fair and just.
The Student Government in the high school carries daily and weekly responsibilities--leading morning meetings, organizing announcements, keeping students apprised of learning and activism activities outside of school. They also imagine and implement initiatives that respond to student needs and concerns. They stand up and speak into situations within the student body, they mediate disagreements, and they offer care and support when we experience pain and loss.
This year our Student Government engaged in:
Community Building: leading coffee houses, candy sales, Spirit Week
Community Changing: listening to students needs, and then designing and implementing renovations to the Student Center, making space for more students to spend time together
Community Caring: Worked with Allison and Margaret to think about orienting policies and procedures in the High School handbook around safety, care, and education.
In a nutshell, they lead. And in the work of leading, they simultaneously construct knowledge about what “leadership” means, ultimately imprinting the LREI community in ways that are significant and longlasting. with understandings of how to lead a community through service and action.
We want to celebrate and commend the 2018-2019 Student Government for its important, lasting work: Daniel Jegede, President; Leilani Sardinha, Vice-President of Social Justice; Nubia Celis-Etienne, Vice-President of Communications; Jonah Davidson, Vice-President of Programming; Cameron Krakowiak, Junior Executive
Thank you for your leadership and service!
And, we welcome our newly elected 2019-2020 Student Government, and eagerly anticipate all the ways they will buid on the work that has happened before them.
Allison Isbell & Margaret Paul
High School Co-Principals