Real-world applications can help engage students in new Common Core challenges
In order to give students purpose to engage deeply in the Common Core, District 21 in Wheeling, Ill. has partnered with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a journalism organization, to bring real-world issues and a global perspective to students.
By framing the Out of Eden Walk and the Everyday Africa Project with problem-based, authentic learning units connected to the Common Core, students had the opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field, peers from around the globe, and their own communities to solve real-world problems.
The Out of Eden walk features Paul Salopek, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Pulitzer Center grantee, and National Geographic Fellow, who is walking around the world for seven years. Paul is walking the original path of human migration beginning in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America. The primary goal of the walk is to take a ‘slow approach’ to journalism, hearing and sharing the stories of those he meets along the way who wouldn’t normally have a voice in the media. A secondary goal of the walk is to reach students across the world and be a part of their learning experiences through his journey.
(Next page: How the projects impacted students and their learning)