The Role of the Adult
The core hypothesis of the Prenda model is the redefinition of the role of adult. As in a traditional classroom, daily in-person interactions with an adult is a central component of our model. However, the attributes required for this person to succeed are different than the typical assumptions.
There are several things the educator does not do in the Prenda model:
Lesson plans. Instead of creating ways to deliver content and command the attention of the class, Prenda guides support the students as they work through content “playlists” in core subjects.
Lectures. Instead of a “sage on the stage,” the Prenda guide works individually with the students and in small groups, supporting their personalized learning path.
Know everything. In a traditional model, children raise their hands and the teacher tells them the answer. Instead, students in Prenda school will be responsible for finding the answers, with help from the adult as a “guide on the side.”
Grades. We automate assessment for areas with objective right and wrong answers, and utilize a peer review process in more subjective tasks.
Internal politics. Each guide works with a small class and answers only to the students and parents, which frees them from the typical organizational challenges that can demoralize a well-intentioned educator.
Instead of these functions, the adult in Prenda school plays a facilitator/guide role, emphasizing human connection with specific responsibilities.
The old adage is true: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Prenda guides care deeply about their students.
Plutarch said “the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a flame to be kindled.” Prenda guides spark learning and model curiosity.
Prenda guides help students connect with peers, with resources, other adults, and anything else that will help them learn.
The path to real learning is not easy. When it is tempting to give up, the guide provides the encouragement, perspective and coaching to help the students persevere.
Every student is different. The Prenda guide knows each kid and chooses from available resources to curate an engaging learning experience.
Sometimes the things that limit learning have nothing to do with academics. Guides listen and understand, building a foundation of trust and respect.