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Imagine The Future

rise_up2.jpgImagine the Future is perhaps one of the most defining components of Rise Up. This forum provides the opportunity to delineate Rise Up from a mere summer school program by placing the emphasis on the student as an individual. Each individual has strengths, weaknesses and goals. Rise Up is committed to bringing out individual strengths and assisting to overcome weaknesses. The Imagine the Future component of Rise Up is particularly focused on helping the student learn more about themselves while concurrently exploring general principles of teenagers.

The general principles include an exploration of the human brain, investigations of methods of learning and inquiries on metacognitive strategies to assist in problem solving. This includes the structures and functions of the brain lobes. With that information, students will investigate the limbic system as an emotional hotspot of the brain in addition to the central processing center to process new information. As students understand the developmental rates of different regions of the brain, the students will participate in rational peer discussions to encourage frontal lobe development. Finally, students will be encouraged both in Imagine the Future and in their academic classes to reflect on their own thinking. This will be accomplished with a series of reflective journaling as well as developing and applying strategies to assist in decoding complex problems.

Integration of the individual into the superstructure of the human learning process is fundamental in assisting the students to take ownership of their learning. If students can understand that the way people process information has some degree of universality to it, they should more easily be able to reflect on themselves as learners. Deductive reasoning can be applied and explained so as to assist students in developing a self-awareness of their own processing. Further, this provides an excellent opportunity to build a community within Rise Up. While thinking of themselves as learners, they undergo a common experience with their peers.

rise_up3.pngThe next aspect of building a community within Rise Up is to help the students understand each other. All students have a story. Giving the students a respectful and safe forum to share their stories fosters a community of collaborative growth. This includes activities such as encouraging the students to draw and present life maps that explain where they have come from and where they would like to go in the future.

Especially considering the emphasis on developing rationality within the students, Imagine the Future features a weekly discussion of relevant topics that appeal to the teenagers’ sense of right and wrong and sense of the ideal. These topics may change in response to student interest. Some initial topics may include whether teachers or students should have the right to decide on the composition of the class. An alternative may include an ideal conversation about whether forgiveness is earned or given freely. Perhaps a social topic would be whether violent video games have a desensitizing effect on society. Other topics may include responses or discussions from short readings including Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

Scope and Sequence Introduction for Imagine the Future
In order to provide the students with some larger framework of structure, the following is a generic outline of a weekly calendar for the students to follow. Large group activities are indicated but otherwise the students will be broken into smaller community meetings for activities (a.k.a. advisory or homeroom).

View an Overview of Weekly Themes and Activities for Rise Up Imagine the Future >>