Student-led learning takes well-prepared educators

By Joe Battaglia
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4
For more than 20 years, the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (known as the Met) has been personalizing learning to our students’ interests and needs. The Met, which today is a network of six small, public high schools in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, is the founding school of Big Picture Learning, a network of more than 65 diverse schools that use innovative models to make learning meaningful and tailored to students. Students at the Met develop agency for their own learning through a combination of strategies that include internships with local businesses and organizations during the school day, intentional connections between their internships and academic skills, and individual learning plans. Our goal is for all students to become engaged, lifelong learners and responsible

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Joe Battaglia

Joe Battaglia ( is director of curriculum and instruction at the Met school in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island.

Why the What Matters Now Network?

The What Matters Now Network has backstopped our efforts, providing national and state-level elevation of this work for quantitative reasoning specialists, peer accountability among school leadership, and technical assistance support throughout our efforts.

What is improvement science?

In education, improvement science is a disciplined approach to educational inquiry: Through it, teams of educators engage in rapid PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles in order to test hypotheses and use data to inform smart and real-time decision-making.

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