Rocketship Education is a non-profit charter school system that concentrates its efforts in low-income neighborhoods where there are no excellent schools. Of course the average person would wonder why this would work, but the results speak for themselves in that the system works extraordinarily well.
Rocketship has a formula that works. It is called “Blended Learning” but several things have to come into place. A partnership is formed between the teachers, students, parents, and the community at large. Parents in particular see the advantages right away. Individual attention to students, students in a fun and challenging environment, teachers who are fully engaged, and different ways of learning all contribute to the effort.
Children all learn at different rates and in different ways. Rocketship addresses this with their unique way of approaching the learning process in school. There is time spent in a traditional classroom setup for about half of the day. Then small groups and individualized digital learning take place. The digitized learning utilizes laptops and headsets to give students intensive walk-through programs in math, science, history, English and another core curriculum. Facts, memorization, and other rote activities are perfect for the computer learning activities.
The small groups of around 4 to 7 students are able to accomplish a lot of ground with supervised discussions, student led-examples, and immersion is fun activities that have the curriculum embedded inside.
One-on-one tutoring is essential for students to tell about their work, how they feel, and in handling any difficulties. The mentor, or tutor listens carefully and can help the student’s confidence by complementing them and setting the stages for additional projects.
Students feel like they own their educational process and when they accomplish a new milestone they can be proud of their achievement. Students learn at their own pace with the help of several different teachers and mentors. They learn with understanding as to the “why” of the subject matter so that they know the purposes of the lessons.
The results are in and Rocketship Education students, called “Rocketeers” graduate a full year ahead of their counterparts who are attending public schools in the same area.