Can Students Run the Class?

Sydney Gaff,Co-Editor in Chief

Traditional classrooms that have a teacher up front lecturing for a large group of students. But there is another possible option for educating students, and it can allow them to learn even more than in traditional classrooms; this is a student-run class.

In a student-run class, the students are able to work in a self-directed manner, where they run the overall class. However they function under teacher supervision, and the teacher will be there as a mentor and to help guide them through the process. This is how the Cosby Journalism class functions: with two editors in chief, and then other editors and staff writers that work under them.

With this particular setup, students are not just learning about materials that are a part of the curriculum, but life skills. Student-run classes allow students to assume roles that are not offered in other classes, such as leadership positions. With this particular setup students will be able to assume these roles, and to rise through the ranks of the class if they remain in it. Students can gain experiences that are normally only offered in clubs and sports, but in an academic setting. This can help others branch out of a follower role into a leader role.

As opposed to traditional classes, student-run classes let teenagers learn to work with others in a more in-depth way. Now many would think that by the time people are in high school, they should be able to work with a group; however this is not always the

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Photo Courtesy to Sydney Gaff

case. In this particular setup students are made to cooperate with one another in order to complete the task at hand. You may be wondering, what if it is a class on something that doesn’t involve group effort? It doesn’t matter; because in this class, a student’s superior is another student, so no matter what there has to be teamwork involved in the process.

Other students find this as a great opportunity to grow as individuals and to learn in a different environment as well. “I think having student run elective classes would be a great opportunity for students to really be involved in their school work, and really be able to take ownership of the classes that they care about.” said by Cosby senior, Carter Groh.

There are also colleges that incorporate this type of learning environment onto their campuses, such as the DeCal Program at UC Berkeley. These classes allow students to learn about things that may not be learned about at any other school, such as classes on cancer to classes offered on parkour.

If colleges can offer their students these opportunities, then why not high schools as well? This could be an all-around great opportunity for students to not only learn about a topic they care about, but also learn some life skills along the way.

Photo Courtesy to Sydney Gaff