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Missy Broome

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Rocketship Education Has Fasttracked Student Learning Exponentially

Rocketship Education is the new way to educate students that gives them not only the knowledge, but the practical application of that knowledge. Knowledge is good to have, but the person who can put that knowledge to use is priceless.

Rocketship Education is a network of non-profit public charter schools that are mostly located in low-income neighborhoods where there is no access to an excellent school in the area. Started in 2002, Rocketship Education fosters a unique approach to teaching where teachers, students, parents and the community form a coalition for education striving for success.

It is fairly well-documented that the traditional method of crowding 20 to 40 students into one classroom with one teacher just doesn’t work so well. The students get distracted and bored and get into mischief easily and the teacher spends most of the class time disciplining the students.

Rocketship Education uses a model that they call “Blended Learning” where the instruction and teaching methods are geared to a more individualized approach. While the traditional classroom approach is partially used, it is mainly for gathering and getting broad-based information. The real teaching and learning take place in smaller groups of 5 to 6 students, digital learning which is totally individualized, and in one-on-one tutoring sessions.

The small groups are where the focus can be on learning and is easier for the teacher to control with learning aids and interesting materials. The digital learning is done with laptops and headphones, with programs similar to the game that the students are already used to using. The tutoring sessions are one-on-one with a mentor who helps to guide the student through any difficulties that they might be having.

This method works so well because students learn and progress at their own pace without pressure to achieve any certain level before they are ready to do so. There is no question why students become very interested and invest in their own progress.

When you include parents in the equation and empower them in the process there is just that much more support. The proof is in the results. Rocketship Education graduates are on the average, about a full year ahead of their public school counterparts in the same geographic areas.

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