What is Linked Learning?

A San Diego group that espouses a method of teaching called Linked Learning will distribute $350,000 to high schools in five local school districts.

The grants will go to 26 schools in the San Diego, Grossmont, Carlsbad, Escondido and Oceanside districts, according to the Education Synergy Alliance, which formed nearly a year ago to support local Linked Learning efforts.

Linked Learning, according to the group, gives students the opportunity to apply lessons from school to fields in which they are interested in working, via internships and job shadowing.

The funding will offer students “real world work-based experiences and make their learning relevant to their future goals and aspirations,” according to a news release. It will be directed toward teacher training, recruiting employers, tutoring and counseling students and encouraging partnerships between districts and colleges.

The five districts involved with Linked Learning have named directors for the effort and hosted training institutes for nearly 150 teachers.

The “pathways” identified to link lessons and workplace experience are manufacturing and engineering,  business, law and entrepreneurship, environmental design, advanced transportation and renewables, health and bioscience,  information and communications technology, and life sciences.

A preliminary step for Linked Learning took place in June, when nearly 75 educators and representatives from the fields of  business, government and nonprofits met at the University of San Diego to determine how to make “work-based learning opportunities” available for students.  Another meeting is set for October.

The James Irvine Foundation supported the local effort with a $250,000 grant, while the Moxie Foundation put up another $100,000.

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