Internships in New York City public schools were a key component to the Covering Education course and a rare opportunity for students to experience public education from the ground up. Over the course of the semester, students spent one day a week observing classes, tutoring kids and learning from principals, students, teachers, and school aides. Students shared their observations and impressions in weekly blogs.
The schools where students interned embraced a wide variety of educational philosophies and methodologies. At Hunter College Elementary School, which caters to gifted and talented students from across the city, 5-year-olds played chess and sixth graders
read The Odyssey. P.S. 24, a pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, offered Spanish-English dual language instruction, while Manhattan International, a high school for recent immigrants, relied on the English-language immersion method. Many students interned at the Julia Richman Educational Complex on Manhattan’s East Side, a consortium of small schools hailed as a model of educational reform. At Urban Academy, a transfer high school, students addressed their teachers on a first-name basis. Vanguard International High School evaluated students in narrative reports, and The Ella Baker School grouped its kindergarten through eighth-grade students in contiguous grades together.
The internships and blogs provided the chance for students to delve into issues that they learned about in class, such as high-stakes testing, teaching methodologies, and child development, and to observe first-hand how current national and local educational policies are impacting city schools. Students were free to investigate topics of personal interest, such as sports, health and special education, and to use their experiences as springboards for other articles. Their blogs include book reviews, outtakes on the
education news of the day and other musings. To read the blogs, click on the links to the left. To read more about the reporters, click here.