The staff at Shabazz is committed to creating learning activities that ask students to think, develop in-depth understanding, and apply their academic learning to important, realistic problems or situations. We call these authentic intellectual activities. At Shabazz, we use experiential learning, service-learning, and authentic classroom activities as a platform for our intellectual work.
Authentic Intellectual Work at Shabazz
Authentic intellectual activities can happen within or outside a classroom. Collaboration on a group project, individual primary research and presentation, guest speakers, and “teach-ins” are all methods of creating authentic learning experiences within the walls of Shabazz.
Shabazz also prides itself on its service-learning and experiential learning opportunities off campus.
Service learning connects meaningful service in the school or community with academic learning and civic responsibility. Service learning is different then community service. When students and teachers participate in service learning, the service is integrated with academic skills and content, it incorporates reflection as an integral part of the learning process, and students are engaged in the problem solving process.
Experiential learning occurs when students are placed in a situation where they think and interact, learning in and from a real-world environment. All service-learning is experiential, not all experiential activities are service learning.
Over the years Shabazz has earned state and national recognition for its programs. We recently received honors as the National Service-Learning Schools of Success Award Winner.
Some Examples of Recent Authentic Intellectual Activities at Shabazz:
- Performing a play that students have collaboratively created and designed.
- Leading middle school students in discussion, problem solving, and alleviation of bullying within their school.
- Repairing and rebuilding homes and infrastructure for Lakota families in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
- Creating individualized children’s books and presenting them to elementary students.
- Collaboratively designing and carrying out service-learning projects.
- Appropriately critiquing each other’s art work.
- Repairing and updating computers that are then donated to local community members, and explaining the operating system to the recipients of the computers.
- Working as a group to make decisions, problem solve, and overcome a shared challenge.
- Serving as a teaching assistant or designing an independent class.
- Learning about and taking part in stream restoration.
- Interning in organic farming at a local community garden.
- Designing and organizing team building activities for new students.