Lillian Hsu, Founding Principal of Latitude High School, speaks about what the great academics looks like to her. She specifically points out that great academics include work that is both hands on and minds on and engages students on a deeper level.
I think that for me, the great academics looks like work that’s really hands-on and minds-on. And for me, I think a lot about the term “minds on fire.” So when you walk into a classroom where minds are on fire, you see that in a lot of different ways. You see it in the body language of the students, you see it in whose voices are heard, you see it in terms of their genuine excitement over both the intellectual work, but then also, I think, the hands-on work as well.
And so I think that for myself as a school leader, in terms of what we aspire to, I think it’s a balance of really meaningful, juicy projects, where students get a chance to create something that they’re deeply proud of and that in some ways allows them to step into the shoes of professionals and try out different skill sets. But then it also means complementing that with readings, and discussions, and writing, and problems that stretch their minds in different ways and really honors their full intellect and allows them to grapple with problems that maybe adults haven’t even solved yet. And then be able to see those from a lot of different perspectives and angles so that we’re not just pushing one narrative.