Apprentice Style Learning at HVSS
One of the most effective ways of learning a new skill is through an apprenticeship. This style of learning is essential to a Sudbury model school and is practiced naturally all day, every day. This blog entry gives a couple examples of this style of learning in action.
In love with The Law
This year our Law Clerk is Eli, a 14 year old lifelong Sudburian. “I’m interested in the whole field of law,” Eli says, “but mostly in criminal defense. I want to see systems work… I like it when there are well defined processes to follow.”
A couple weeks ago Eli shadowed a Public Defender in New Paltz. “Andy explained that defense attorneys don’t defend people; they defend people’s rights, which is a good way to think about it,” Eli says. He was invited to sit in the witness chair while plea bargains were worked out, and he was allowed to attend private meetings with clients. “It was very interesting because it’s a thing that normally you don’t get to see if you’re anyone other than the defender. I also got to watch them test out a new device they have for people on probation. It’s a little hand-held device the probationer breathes into once a day, and it has facial recognition software so it will catch it if it’s not the right person doing the test. They also have one that straps onto an ankle and the second you consume any alcohol it sends a signal to the courthouse…The courthouse was full. Most of the cases were DUIs and drug use.” As Law Clerk, Eli has been working on clarifying the procedures of JC and the trial process; it’s been stressful, but rewarding. He’s looking forward to setting up a schedule to shadow Andy regularly.
]It Takes a Lot to Run a Store
We have a small school store at HVSS which sells snacks and other sundries. Last week two of our youngest students – Mae, age 5, and Macey, also 5, decided to begin the difficult process of becoming certified to run the store. They took to the task eagerly, mentored by Shelley and Vanessa. They have been working on looking up prices, counting money, and carefully filling out the store ledger. They have practice sheets, and have been asking students and staff to pretend to buy things so they can fill them out. How long will it take to gain full certification? “Probably a long, long time,” says Mae, “we have to learn more about money and writing first...and we really need to work on drawing our '2s.'” What does Macey think the pair need to focus on next? “Practicing money, and doing the numbers.” And where does their motivation come from? Macey says,"it's fun," and Mae adds, "we don't want to bother people to open the store for us - we want to do it ourselves,"