NEWTON, MA | January 6, 2009
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) will design a four-year law and justice program and develop curriculum for high schools throughout California, with $2 million in funding from the San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation. The new program will integrate existing resources, build connections to potential careers, and address California state and national standards.
Collaborating with ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, as well as school and community leaders, and professionals in law and law enforcement, EDC will design the interdisciplinary “multiple pathways” program to prepare students for success in college and the workplace, particularly in the fields of legal and government services and protective services.
“Multiple pathways” programs connect learning in the classroom with real-world applications outside of school. They integrate rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and work-based learning, set in the context of California’s 15 major industry sectors. The goal of this approach is to prepare students to succeed in the full range of post-secondary options.
“EDC brings extensive capacity in research, curriculum development, and teacher training, all in an effort to engage diverse populations of youth in education and employment,” said Anne Stanton, youth program director for the Irvine Foundation. “A rigorous and relevant law and justice-focused curriculum will provide another resource to school districts working to develop a system of multiple pathways in California.”
To help students connect classroom learning to the real world, EDC will design opportunities for students to explore law and justice-related careers, working with community leaders and professionals in these fields. Beginning in ninth grade with an intensive career exploration project, students will conduct research and interviews to learn about career options and the training they require. As students identify occupations of interest and participate in mock trials, simulated crime scene investigations, and other activities, they will have first-hand experiences of the kinds of work involved, culminating in an internship or mentoring program in grade 12.
“As part of developing this new program, we hope to not only build student interest and increase achievement, but also to create community, industry, and university connections to high school classrooms to support that interest, and contribute to student success” said EDC’s Ilene Kantrov.
To help teachers implement the new curriculum, EDC will develop and deliver a professional development program to include workshops, personal coaching and hands-on training. EDC will also develop a “Train the Trainer” model to help ensure the sustainability of the law and justice program in California.