Meeting with Dr Gary Hoachlander
Gary Hoachlander is President of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career. He has devoted most of his professional life to helping young people learn by doing – connecting education to the opportunities, challenges, and many different rewards to be found through work. He is visiting New Zealand as one of two keynote speakers presenting at Te Ara Whakamana: Pathways, transitions and bridges to tertiary education forum, a two-day symposium sponsored jointly by Ako Aotearoa and The Centre for Studies in Multiple Pathways at Manukau Institute of Technology.
Prior to going to Wellington for the forum, Dr Hoachlander participated in conversations at a breakfast held by Manukau Institute of Technology's Centre for Studies in Multiple Pathways. He explained what is meant by 'linked learning' – building a comprehensive programme to connect academics with the world of work, as a means of engaging students (many of whom are currently 'dis'-engaged with the learning experience).
There is growing evidence that a Linked Learning strategy will improve student outcomes. The core components of the strategy are:
- A challenging academic component prepares students for success – without remediation – in postsecondary programs. Pathways complement traditional learning with project-based instruction that links to real-world applications.
- A demanding technical component delivers concrete knowledge and skills through a cluster of three or more technical courses.
- A work-based learning component offers opportunities to learn through real-world experiences that enhance classroom instruction.
- Support services include counselling and transportation as well as additional instruction in reading, writing and mathematics to help students succeed with a challenging program of study.
Find more information about Linked Learning on the ConnectEd California website.
Dr Hoachlander stressed the importance of the work-based learning component, noting the value of young people receiving a critique of their work by industry professionals and experts.