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New Documentary Offers Insights for the Future of High School Learning

XQ’s featured session included clips from “The First Class,” a new documentary about a high school in Memphis. The film includes powerful examples of project-based learning.

It was wonderful seeing so many of you at the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Ascending New Heights: Propelling the Profession into the Future,” there were inspiring conversations about how to support and empower educators at a time of tremendous change.

We heard how states are looking at their teacher pipelines post-pandemic — and the need to prepare educators for the continued challenges of absenteeism and learning loss. Speakers addressed the importance of representation and diversity in the profession and the desire to bolster educators to succeed with a whole-child instructional approach.

New Documentary Serves as Powerful Tool for Changing Practice

Join XQ’s Featured Session, Disrupting Conventional Assumptions About High School Learning, on Saturday, February 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This panel discussion is about “The First Class”—a powerful new documentary about a Memphis high school that highlights the role of educators in transforming teaching and learning. 

We at XQ are honored to participate in AACTE’s 2024 Annual Meeting, “Ascending New Heights: Propelling the Profession into the Future.” This year’s theme perfectly captures our mission to rethink the high school experience to fully prepare all students for whatever the future holds with more engaging, authentic teaching. 

Our conversations with AACTE and its members reveal a deep, shared vision for high school teaching and learning where adolescents are engaged, motivated, and empowered to develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to thrive in our complex and rapidly changing world. In this shared vision, learning connects academic content to the real world and fosters opportunities for students to become makers, creators, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers. Good high school teachers remain crucial to this vision — and we also need to rethink how we prepare our educators so they can provide these experiences to their students.