Before Chan left to come home to Mason, the Atelier Crenn team prepared him a 13-course meal. In July, he plans to return to begin his next chapter.
Cooper said experiences like Chan’s are at the heart of the initiative.
“We have been pleasantly surprised and, quite frankly, inspired by the wide diversity of projects that our students and their families have engaged in during this first year of Personal Learning Days. We intentionally kept the process simple and open-ended in order to maximize the opportunity for our students and their families to creatively pursue their learning passions and interests,” he said. “We have had high school students co-design a field trip to a highly specialized science lab in Chicago, design job shadowing partnerships with local doctors and business leaders, and work with other students to design and actually build a shelter out of reused materials in an effort to blend design and sustainability. We have had elementary students take on projects that extend the learning that is happening in their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Innovation Lab, help design family vacations to incorporate a learning passion, and spend time learning more about community service by intentionally developing ways to serve their neighbors.”
Copper believes this year’s success was twofold: creating innovative learning opportunities outside the classroom built upon student interests and increasing time for staff professional development.
“We have learned from research and experience that giving students voice and choice in their learning is a highly successful strategy for increasing student engagement and content mastery,” he explained. “Our students are our future, and they are extremely talented and naturally curious. This combined with our highly innovative teaching staff will allow Mason to lead the way in designing the next iteration in education as education moves toward personalized learning.”
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to go
What: Personal Learning Days Showcase featuring more than 30 K-12 Mason students who used their personal learning days in extraordinary ways to maximize learning experiences
When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 2
Where: Mason High School Large Commons, 6100 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason