Research: There’s a movement happening in education that seeks to validate the learning that students do outside of the formal academic setting. Important skills can be gained in a variety of areas outside of school, including sports, music, art, volunteer work, or any other passion—activities that truly express student personalities, interests, and achievements. The challenge schools face now is to formalize a process that expresses these learning experiences and acknowledges the learning they’re already engaged in.
Practice: We’ve always known that learning isn’t confined to a classroom or school setting. This is why we encourage students to follow their passions and allow them time in their schedules to do so. It’s also why at the high school level we allow students to gain credit for activities they pursue outside of school, including PE, volunteer work, employment, and music.