Rocketship Education is a non-profit charter school system that is found in lower-income neighborhoods where there are no excellent schools. It has a new twist to education that is wildly successful in getting students interested in academics.
The traditional large classroom model does not always work so well when in many public schools there are 25 to 40 students in the classroom and it is difficult to keep any sense of order, let alone get any meaningful teaching accomplished. Teachers spend much of their time disciplining the class and there is no time left for classwork.
Rocketship Education uses a teaching method called “Blended Learning” which is very flexible and allows students to learn at their own pace. Students are all very different in the way that learning takes place and they don’t always do well in large classroom settings.
While Rocketship allows for some large class assembly for general announcements and overall planning, the bulk of the learning takes place in small groups in the four to six student size. It is easy to break up into smaller groupings all over the room to discuss and teach specific subjects as the size of the group allows for intense discussions and the asking of questions by the students.
There is also quite a bit of individual participation in digital learning with a laptop and headphones. Subjects such as math drills, English grammar, history facts, and science facts can be effectively taught in this manner. Students use similar programs and puzzles as they are already used to in games which makes the format fun and familiar.
Tutoring on a one-on-one basis allows for optimum feedback and confidence building. Students can bring a problem to the tutor and ask specific questions. The tutor can go into detail and help the student get over specific hurdles and with the individual time spent, much is accomplished.
Students can learn at their own pace without having any peer pressure or schedule limitations. Learning knowledge for knowledge’s sake is really non-productive unless the students learn the practical use of that knowledge.
The proof is in the results and the results are impressive. By the time Rocketship students graduate, test scores show that they are nearly a year ahead of their peers in the public schools.