Innovation in Learning Study Group

West Coast: Student Voices

By: Elaine Leibly

Thursday morning before we left San Diego for home, Mary Beth asked our group how the trip might have changed our thinking around what a student should know and be able to do to graduate from Woodstock Union High School.

Here’s what the two students on our trip had to say about that:


“I’d like to know about finances.  But I don’t really know what I need to know as an adult”.

“I know I need 25 credits to graduate.”

“We need three science credits.”

“I don’t know what we need to graduate in terms of skills.”

There are two things that I find really interesting about this conversation.  The first is the reminder that students don’t know what they don’t know.  It is our job, together with their parents, to teach them.  The second is that some students, possibly many students, view their education not as a set of skills that prepare them for life but as a series of tasks that must be completed.