14 to 16 Year Olds

In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Gift Focus Stage (14 to 16 years old) is a time when the young person suddenly knows what s/he wants and loves to do and begins to pursue it passionately. This is the focus that will be pursued without reservation and for long periods of time independently. The young person will encounter the need to know how to balance the pursuit of this gift along with the other responsibilities and formal learning opportunities. The young person’s understanding of how they learn and what goals are important to their future has increased to a level that s/he initiates formal goals in collaboration with a mentor. In other words, the baton is beginning to be handed off to the young person toward the road to full independence.

The Creative Learning Center Focus

Our learning environment for this stage is set up to support the young person’s steps into self-advocacy. We move from a collaborative mentorship to a collaborative partnership.  This stage brings it all together where mindful independent pursuits and collaborative decision-making is all utilized for a cohesive goal-based learning environment.

In the morning individualized learning time, The CLC Lead Facilitator focus will be spending time partnering in the creation of and supporting independent studies toward personal future goals for each young person. In the afternoon project-based learning time, The CLC Lead Facilitator focus will be facilitating and supporting interest-based topics, projects, and career and volunteer opportunities. The CLC Lead Facilitator will encourage and validate personal traits that are propelling each young person into their ability to be independent learners.

The Creative Learning Center Lead Facilitator Implementation

Lead Facilitator will conduct consistent partnership sessions with each young person focusing on how to prioritize their gift and balance their goals and responsibilities. The types of conversations that will occur will be listening to the young person’s ideas for their future, their understanding on how to get there, what is important to them,  and what information they know on how to achieve their goals. The types of suggestions offered by the Lead Facilitator might include 1) subjects that would enhance their gift or passion area that the young person might be unaware of, like vocabulary development for a writer, 2) subjects that might be needed to meet a goal, like attending college, 3) subjects not of natural interest to the young person but is good to have a minimum level of understanding, like history, or 4) subjects or skills of weakness. A collaborative partnership will occur as the young person and the Facilitator offer ideas to the table that will encompass the young person’s personal study time. Facilitator will fully support any day to day learning needs of the young person with their formal studies.

 Because of the shift to mindful decision-making in the areas of non-interest-based areas, the young people naturally start becoming more conscious of their areas of strength and interest. Whereas in the earlier stages, support and facilitation were needed during their project-based learning time, now each young person is pursuing these strengths, interests, and topics naturally, willingly, and with self initiation. If they need something, they come to an adult mentor now. When the collaborative planning meeting occurs, Lead Facilitator looks to them to share what and how he/she wants to pursue these areas of strength. This can be non-typical subjects such as drawing, music, animal care, or typical subjects like writing, math, science, or reading. Lead Facilitator will support learning in this category by (1) facilitating needs the young person has to accomplish a project or interest-based study, (2) identifying resources available to the young person in expanding an interest or project, (3) encouraging entrepreneurial or volunteer opportunities surrounding an interest or project, and/or (4) arranging internships, teaching classes, or locating public venues to showcase their work.

The Creative Learning Center Curriculum and Resources

Learning through living books and manipulative-based learning tools is a good core foundation for any age learner, and it continues in all age groups at all levels. This learning stage may be ready to delve into adult-level interest-specific living books as well. Formal resources and tools are continued to be used to meet individual learning goals. Young people are shown how to make the resource work for them by individualizing it to their needs versus the young person fitting into any resource box.

Leadership and speaking and/or teaching opportunities are created within The Creative Learning Center whether in the form of mentoring younger children, modeling for their peers, especially in their line of passion, or seeking group project opportunities. Utilizing our community resources is especially beneficial at this age through apprenticeships, volunteering and/or more meaningful interactions and in-depth knowledge seeking through weekly Mentor classes.

The Creative Learning Center Assessment Tools

Samples of work will be collected from each young person during independent work time. Lead Facilitator will write a journal entry for each young person under their supervision during independent studies and project-based learning time (at least twice a day). During these observations, photos or samples of work pursued will be kept. Where there is a desire, the young people themselves can take over journaling activities for their own learning journey. These assessment tools will provide individualized learning knowledge for Lead Facilitator, parents, and young people in understanding the way they learn best. These assessments will be compiled for parent viewing every Saturday.

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