Educators are finding it increasingly difficult to teach students to do work that is traditionally performed by adults, such as washing dishes, painting the bathroom or sorting household trash.
Some educators say they need to broaden their curriculum to include activities that require hands-on, interactive skills, such a painting a door, using tools or even working together.
The new curriculum, called Amplify: Work Key, is designed to help students learn to act as work keys.
It’s designed to make learning to act more interactive and more hands-ons.
Amplify works in tandem with the curriculum the students are already learning to do.
Students can choose to use Amplify for their own classroom use or for use in a workplace.
But the curriculum is designed for students to work in a group setting, as a group of four or five people.
Students also can use Amplified for individual projects.
Amplified also is designed so students can learn to do tasks while doing other things, such reading or driving.
“It’s a way for the teachers to make sure they’re not missing out on the work that’s already done by the students,” said Jennifer Kuepper, associate director for education and curriculum at the University of Tennessee.
“This is an opportunity for them to do their work, and they’re going to be doing a lot of other work.”
Kueiter is working with the nonprofit organization, ACT-UP, to design Amplify.
She says it’s a collaborative effort between educators, community organizations, government agencies and businesses.
ACT- UP’s goal is to have Amplify ready by mid-October.
It also is working to add other elements to Amplify, such work-based play.
The group is working on a set of activities that can be used for a variety of educational purposes, including working with kids to design and produce stickers and playing with kids’ computers.
“They are getting a lot more creative with the skills that they are developing in terms of what they can do with a paintbrush,” Kueizer said.
“That’s really going to give them the tools they need for a long, long career.”
The ACT- Up initiative is part of an effort by the federal government to create a more hands on, interactive learning environment.
It is aimed at providing students with more hands over the years and is an example of what Kueeter calls “the power of play.”
ACT-U’s Education Action Plan says students need to have access to a wide range of tools and skills, including physical skills, visual skills and speech skills.
“These skills and skills that are important to people in our communities are not often covered in textbooks,” said Julie Wiles, ACT UP’s president and CEO.
Wiles says the new curriculum is intended to give students access to the skills and tools they will need in the future.
ACT is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education, the U-M Center for the Arts and the Department of Commerce to make the curriculum available online for free.
The work key curriculum is part a larger effort to provide the best education possible for students.
“The work key is a way to give the kids the tools and the skills they need in order to be able to have an impact on society and help shape the future of their communities,” Kuerpper said.