“Why do I need to know this?” or “What does it matter?” are questions that students ask far too often. They deserve better answers.
Linked Learning helps educators offer better answers by creating real-world learning experiences that interest, challenge, and inspire students, so they can better understand the connections between the classroom and the world of work. When this happens, research shows that students are more likely to deeply engage in their learning, and more likely to transform a passion into a profession.
What does Linked Learning look like in practice?
In an engineering pathway, for example, students not only learn trigonometry and calculus but also how they are applied in designing seismically sound buildings and bridges. Under the guidance of a professional engineer, they may make a model of a bridge to evaluate the tensile strength of different materials, and write up their results and analysis. Additionally, they intern in an architectural or engineering firm interacting with working adults around real problems.
This approach makes learning more like the real world of work, responds to student interests, and helps students answer the question, “Why do I need to learn this?” When students love what they’re learning, they work harder, dream bigger, and learn more.