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My Trip to Present at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Art is central to education, and is the glue that ties all the subjects together in our Los Angeles pilot school. As a senior and a community member of the School for Visual Arts and Humanities (SVAH), I have seen the curriculum flourish with Linked Learning as we focused on art as a way to universally communicate material expressed across subjects. On our trip to Washington, D.C on May 15, 2014 we were able to express our views of how art education through a Linked Learning lens helps us bloom as students. It does not only help us express our feelings, but in the long run serves as a tool to better our cognition. This trip allowed us the opportunity to share our opinions and lend our voices to the very same people who can make changes. We learned that anyone with eyes and ears can find a problem, but it takes critical thinking to come up with solutions. We grew skills essential to being a learner, such as public speaking, problem solving, teamwork, and work ethic. Our voices were not only heard by adults at the heart of our education system, but they were fully valued and validated.
For months, we posed questions on what it means to be a learner. In our History class, we studied adversities we face as inner city kids going to an under-resourced school. Quickly, students from all different socioeconomic backgrounds raised their hands. In our English class, we structured our writing to better capture our thoughts. Art overall gave us a voice and confidence to do better and work creatively in all of our other classes. The ability to link all subjects to each other not only helped us grow as a school, but it furthered our understanding of each subject.
Linked Learning in the classroom made it clear that EVERYTHING we learn today has a pivotal role in learning. We were then confident enough to present to policymakers that this type of real-world learning is the future of education. A long overdo revolution in education, Linked Learning forces faculty to work together and to unite subjects. Most of all, we were lucky to have teachers who are in love with their classrooms. They not only prepared us for the hardships, that is life, but also acted as mentors with hands wide open if we needed them. They expected more from us and it kept us challenging us not only in the classroom, but as human beings.

By Evelyn Anaya

DC Trip

DC Trip

The Diverted Path

Not knowing what it is to be a good learner is something that I am fairly familiar with. Knowing first-hand what I know what not to do is something that is essential to my journey as a learner. Throughout my journey as a learner I have closed various doors of opportunities and growth in my education. I have taken for granted the gift of education that so many seek. Helpful teachers, an encouraging environment, and motivation people have all been gifts I have rejected and lost along the way of this journey. These various actions of rejection have temporarily diverted me from a clear and promising path. Mistakes have created and helped shape my mindset as a learner, so as a learner it is essential to make various amounts of mistakes. Rebuilding myself as a learner is something I have been working on all throughout my high school career. I have tried to regain the motivation and fervor that is necessary in the entire learning process. This motivation and fervor is hard to regain but I have noticed how important it is in education.

By Manuel de Leon

What is a Learner?

What does it mean to be a learner?
To be a learner you must learn both in and out of school. School teaches you academic things and the street teaches you how to survive. On the street I learn who not to mess with, to stay away from bad habits like drugs and alcohol.

You must decide which path you want to take. You can either be a follower or a leader. It depends on which road you take, some people take the wrong path and end up learning about life the hard way.
My brother dropped out of school and said “I don’t need education.” Now he asks us for help reading and writing. So now he depends on us.

To be a learner is like being a book, the content of the book becomes our life experience. Something that will benefit me in the future, being a learner is like survival of the fittest. You compete with others, if you don’t get what you need to help you in the future you won’t make it.

By Josue Morales

According to Me

They say knowledge is power,

and I agree now that it is true.

I used to think that learning could not empower,

but I never really put any thought into it and actually had no clue.

Learning is a power that no one can deny you,

because it is a passion and a strength.

With learning and knowledge, there is so much that a person can do.

When it comes to measuring learning, it is a never-ending length.

I enjoy learning because it becomes my superpower.

I am a lifelong student and a learner.

By Angela Choe

Gratitude

As a senior at School for the Visual Arts and Humanities, I look back at my 13 years of education. I’ve come to realize that endless knowledge and lifelong learning is a satisfying and successful way of living. I’ve developed gratitude for the great quality of education SVAH has provided me through the last three and half years. I respect all of my educators for the work they do, and the love they bring to the class. I recall struggling in Algebra 1 more than anything else. I could not understand the material through the explanations the textbook provided. It was not until my math teacher explained to me how to accurately graph a coordinate with a formula through a diagram. I finally understood the root of my problem – it wasn’t because I did not understand math, but I learned math best through visuals. I was a visual learner. That was the moment i realized the true definition of what it means to be a learner. The definition of what it means to be a learner is finding what you like to study, what feeds your appetite for knowledge, and build your strategies that facilitate your learning. By building those strategies and applying them to every new subject you want to learn, no matter how difficult you perceive a challenge, your strategy to approach it will eliminate any mental note of “impossible.” confidently, I progressed to the next math levels and was able to succeed because my teacher included visual diagrams to help me with problem solving. My opinion on learning changed after that experience, I no longer felt fear about learning a new subject, i wanted to learn more and expand my knowledge knowing that I understood any challenge through a visual representation. I had no idea what it mean to be hungry for knowledge prior to S.V.A.H, I have a more optimistic look about learning, nothing is impossible. I can break down any challenge to the point that i can figure it out. Now as a senior, I know that we all have bottomless stomachs that are just rumbling to feast on apprehension of knowledge.

Having found a strategy on which I can build and grow will always help me, especially in my career path into the medical field. I will constantly have to memorize facts, measurements, and anatomy. I will benefit from being a visual learner, enabling me to approach the rigorous assignment and classes in med-school in a manner that facilitates anything I take on through a diagram, drawings for key terms, and visual representations of any anatomy I must memorize.

By Chris Cuellar

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