How individualized education sparks passion
The benefits of individualized education cannot be underestimated. By design, they adapt to diverse student profiles, which is reflected in how today’s learners respond best to a harmonious blend of competency-based education, theoretical perspectives and knowledge of content. The sweet spot between these two often translates into the fact that parents never have to turn their glassed-in summer kids into fall students, screen freaks into bookworms, or traditional learners into academics in the summer. point.
As parents, we can only offer our children their educational path once; it will be based on each of their iterative experiments. Maturing into adulthood requires that they have time in high school to practice balancing freedom and responsibility. Few schools have the courage to trust their students, but those that do provide students with a solid foundation for their future. How can this be understood?
Success stories are the best way to find out. David Lyu has one for books. Born and raised in China, Lyu set his sights on Putney School in Vermont, USA – a coeducational boarding school and day institution for grades 9-12 students – where there is never two identical student paths. However, Lyu’s motives –– at first –– were strictly aesthetic. The view he saw on the home page of the school’s website was enough to warrant moving from continent to continent.
He was seen climbing hundreds of trees around campus, hiking the eastern foothills of the Green Mountains, cross-country skiing in the winter, kayaking in the moonlight and having fun as the students on the picture. he envied. When he got to school, he realized that there was a lot more to Putney than it looked.
The outdoor excursions were certainly not the only feature keeping the students beaming with joy. Lyu very quickly began to understand the real reason why about 20% of the 232 students here came from near and far (they represent more than 30 nationalities). Sure, nerves strained as he neared his first visit, but since Putney is no stranger to international students, Lyu’s welcome was just as warm as the Vermont summers.
“I got used to the campus and its surroundings quite well before the start of the school year due to a dynamic orientation,” he explains. “It was extremely helpful. The student leaders introduced us to important teachers and took us to town. Then they walked us through the jobs, afternoon activities, evening arts, and all that was special about the Putney program. “
In no time at all, Lyu was immersed and engaged. He is now an international ambassador and student member of the school board with full voting rights on the school board. He even played a central role in the appointment of a new school principal alongside his peers. “We are usually involved in making important decisions for our school,” he explains. “As part of my roles, I am always encouraged to present my culture to the community.
It is the confidence that a Putney education inspires. They believe that every student is unique, every aspiration requires special attention and when it comes to learning, there is no one size fits all. Hence the abundance of knowledgeable and accessible faculty members ready to help students develop the tools, self-awareness and advocacy skills necessary to become confident, active and independent learners.
The collective experience not only helped Lyu discover his talent for leadership, it also fulfilled his vocation to pursue social sciences and history in college. He credits the experiential nature of Putney’s academic program.
“American studies have allowed us to explore the history of Native Americans and indigenous peoples. I love it because I never had the chance to learn history like this before coming to the United States, ”says Lyu.
This exhibition heightened his fascination with political relations between the United States and China. During the week of the project, history professor Noah Hoskins-Forsythe encouraged him to take the opportunity to explore how COVID-19 has shaped the relationship between the two nations.
Outside of the classroom, Lyu is living his dream life. He can confirm that Putney’s chandelier is just as attractive in person as it is on his website. Where else could students reduce their stress while downhill skiing?
It’s no wonder Lyu plans to pursue higher education in the United States upon graduation. Putney taught him that the keys to a successful life are bravery, the willingness to try new things, the confidence to explore, and the courage to overcome failure.
It’s clear that this connected community –– where everyone is based on first name –– opened Lyu’s eyes to the American dream. However, Putney has always instilled the importance for international students like him to keep a piece of home in their hearts. Small reminders galore through big gestures.
“Seeing the Chinese New Year fireworks was a wonderful surprise,” he recalls. “It was beautiful. I was walking with my friends and we all stopped to enjoy the moment together.
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