Mayfield High School introduces new learning modalities

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Mayfield High School introduces new learning modalities

Nassim Aidja, Staff Writer

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Mayfield High School is making strides toward innovative education: the innovation center, renovations, and now new learning modalities.  Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, the high school offers online, self-paced, and cross-curricular classes to supplement the traditional courses. 

These new learning modalities are being added to the high school so that students can have more choices in how to approach their learning. Some of these classes offer more 1-on-1 engagement with the teacher of a subject, which can form an important relationship between the student and the educator. The students also receive more personalized learning with a flexible pace.  The high school hopes that these offerings will mean that the student will get a better overall experience in his or her education.

The self-paced learning modality is appealing to many students. For one, a student does not have to worry about being behind or how far his or her peer is ahead.  Flexible pacing can leave room for deeper understanding of the subject. A bonus to this type of class is that if one is able to maintain a 75% or higher, they are afforded two open periods in a week. During these times, students may work in one of the high school’s common areas. The time can be used to study for that subject or another, so if a student is behind on math but doing well in science, they can spend their time on their math. These free periods also provide an opportunity to go to a teacher for help if needed. For some students who have their self-paced class in the morning, they can even sleep in or work from home in the morning.

 

Another beneficial way of learning is the cross-curricular modality. These classes attempt to take two subjects and intertwine the curricula.  These courses make connections that might not have been obvious if one were to take the two subjects separately. For example, when students are reading Macbeth in English, they might compare the leaders in Macbeth and real leaders in the world in History.

However, according to English teacher Kari Beery, not always do the units align in the two classes. If the two topics don’t align, teacher do not force connections between the two units. Rather, the two subjects can be taught in isolation or together depending on the day or the week. 

The classes are very beneficial, says Mrs. Beery, and can allow students to create important skill sets like synthesizing information. Mrs. Beery, who teaches the honors English 1 and US History course, says that the class teaches students to write and read at their maximum potential.

One of the most popular cross-curricular classes is Food and Nutrition combined with Physical Education. This year-long class counts as a physical education and elective credit, amounting to 0.75 credits total.

 

The online learning modality is similar to the self-paced class, though the pacing is more set.  Students are able to take the class on their Chromebooks, and all course materials are facilitated by a teacher. These may include online discussions or chats, video lessons, and other online forums.  For freshman, this type of class may be appealing, however, there are not many classes offered online for freshmen.  

 

Last but not least, there is the traditional learning modality: regular attendance in a regularly-scheduled single-subject class. Students have been learning using this method since they were in kindergarten (and maybe even since their parents were in kindergarten.) But Mayfield is providing innovation, and as Mr. Legan, MHS principal says, “We can not continue to teach students the same way that we have for the past 100 years.” 

Eighth graders can read more about the different courses offered in ninth grade and beyond in the course catalog.