There are plenty of innovative approaches to education that instruct students how the world works. These practices link the gap between the artificial schoolhouse world and the richness and excitement of culture and nature. What is familiar about all these learning methods is an educational philosophy that sees the student as an active participant in constructing authentic knowledge about the world. One unique way of teaching students about how the world works is to reconstruct the world inside a school building.
The Jersey City Global Charter School will provide structured experiential learning activities using multiple domains including mathematics and social studies to guide young students in discovery and to introduce options to inspire success. The students will learn, work and manage their microcosm of the real world—as legislators, peer mediators, business owners, bankers, attorneys, community service-minded leaders, floating teachers, and many other occupations. The business ventures and government agencies provide the context for real world curriculum connections throughout the day. The long term outcome is the development of entrepreneurial skills that will lead to improved job opportunities and employment prospects for our youth.
At The Jersey City Global Charter School, the student day will consist of time in the classroom and time when students apply that curriculum in real world activities. Students of all ages will work, govern, and participate in building their society inside school. Students will work in real time. They will establish businesses, vote, serve on juries, shop, pay taxes, and settle disputes in court, LIVE! They will build a marketplace with stalls and shops, a courtroom with a judge’s bench and a witness stand and a legislative chamber where laws are made and officers conduct business – all student-sized. It will be real. It will not be a simulation or a token economy. It will be a dynamic complex and always progressively sophisticated learning environment.