Rocketship Education is a breath of fresh air as far as education is concerned. Rocketship Education is a non-profit charter school system that is usually located in lower-income neighborhoods where there is a shortage of excellent schools.
Rocketship has left the traditional school model with large classrooms with student populations of 20 to 40 students in favor of smaller sized groups utilizing various modern tools and strategies to get the job done. The traditional school model of herding students in one classroom is very inefficient as it is difficult to discipline such classes and the learning that takes place is not at a high level.
The Rocketship Education model is called “Balanced Learning” and it works very well as the students embrace it and have lots of fun. There are some large classroom meetings, but it is usually for general announcements and short periods of-of getting together for information needed by all. The operative word here is short, because the larger the group the more difficult it is to disseminate information.
Smaller groups of 4 to 6 students are where the action is at Rocketship Education. Here is where the learning takes place. Subjects can be delivered in a very dynamic way where students can immediately ask questions and feel comfortable in the group. Robust teaching aids such as bullet lists, flash cards, animated examples and the like help to illustrate the instructor’s points.
Digital learning is done individually with laptops and headsets. Digital is similar to what most of the students are already familiar with because it is presented in a game and puzzle format. Math, science, lists, terms, history and science facts and similar subjects are ideal for digital learning.
Individual tutoring is handled one-on-one with each student. This is an opportunity to find out and address any difficult areas the student might be having in understanding and applying course materials. It gives students the chance to really ask questions and have concepts explained. Knowledge is good to have, but if it can’t be put to practical use it is worthless.
The evidence is powerful in that at the time of graduation tests scores indicated that the average Rocketship Education student is as much as a year ahead of contemporaries in public schools in the same geographic areas.