Traditionally, students in American high schools pursue either an academic curriculum leading to college or a vocational path preparing for industrial and technical employment. Researchers like SDSU Professor and Associate Dean Nancy Farnan are finding that high school students achieve better in programs that unite the two goals. Supported by grant funding from the James Irvine Foundation, Professor Farnan is leading the development of teacher education programs supporting Linked Learning throughout California.
Linked Learning is an exciting, high school reform effort that energizes student learning by making it relevant to the real world. It combines an interdisciplinary curriculum, project-based learning, and the integration of Career Technical Education with traditional academic disciplines. The model organizes academic and career preparation curriculum around industry themes to provide an authentic focus for high school students' learning.
There are many Linked Learning high schools across the United States. There are approximately 500 California Partnership Academies.
A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of Linked Learning schools in eliminating the achievement gap and preparing all students for both college and career.
For more information about Linked Learning, visit www.connectedcalifornia.org to see videos of Linked Learning high schools in action.