Modeled after the world of apprenticeships where one learns at the side of a master craftsman, apprentices experience firsthand a sampling of jobs, skills, and opportunities in a local workforce while understanding how academic achievement and a satisfying work life intertwine.
Apprenticeships introduce seventh and eighth grade students to careers through a hands-on experience in the workplace, alongside professionals who are passionate about their work. Participating students learn about themselves: their skills, their strengths and their interests then apply these with adults who are practicing professionals. Six weekly visits–during or after school–along with six weeks of preparation, reflection and a learning project give students just enough of work experience to allow them to know a bit more about a profession and decide what they like—don’t like—as they imagine themselves in a particular career. Underlying the experience is the practice of teaching the habits of work that widely apply to jobs, education, opportunities, academics, and careers.
Working in partnership with Boston K-8 schools, Apprentice Learning identifies and trains local business partners who agree to host a small group of students for six weekly visits. These selected professionals provide structured, safe, engaging experiences that set high expectations for students and link classroom-based learning to real world experiences. On-going coaching and supervision, structured reflection, active preparation, self-exploration, and the use of technology support apprentice experiences. And as an integral part of a student’s schooling, Apprentice Learning is blended into a student’s middle school experience and linked to academics and preparation for high school.