Rocketship Education seems to have found the system that works as far as getting students excited about their education. The traditional model of large classrooms with lots of students is not exactly the optimum platform for learning. Distraction and horseplay rapidly set in because students get bored and distracted very easily in these classroom settings.
Rocketship Education is a network of public charter schools that are primarily located in low-income neighborhoods where there are no excellent schools available. They approach education differently in that they know that students all learn differently at different levels and speeds. Taking these facts into account, Rocketship has individualized how students learn and their model works very well.
Rocketship also combines the teachers, parents, students and the community into a partnership where input from all sides is encouraged. Parents especially are encouraged to participate and become leaders in the process. When the individuals who are closest to the students are actively involved the outcomes are much better and more sustainable.
Rocketship Education uses a model that they call “Blended Learning” which takes into account the different ways that students learn. The classic classroom model is still used, but in smaller groups and for broad-based information only. Conceptual and overall subjects work best here and for shorter durations.
Smaller groups are used to introduce specific subject matter and discussion of topics. Groups of four to five students work well here. Students are not overwhelmed by peer pressure in these groups and the attention span is greater.
Digital learning is where a pre-programmed lesson can lead a student by the hand and he or she can progress at their own rate of speed. Facts, dates, maps, formulas and all the items that go with details of math, geography, science and similar subjects are perfect for the digital learning segments. Students learn by using similar concepts that they are already using in digital games.
Individualized tutor lessons wrap up the learning by one-on-one sessions that are designed to give positive feedback and catch any problems that a student is having.
The results tell the story, as Rocketship Education students on the average are up to a full year ahead at graduation than their public school peers.