In typical high school social studies, students rarely spend time out in the field experiencing the organizations and societies about which they are learning. Instead, they spend most of the time reading about them in books. This is not the case, however, in Kimberly Jakovics’ social studies courses at Annapolis High School in Annapolis, MD, where she has created a dynamic learning community that extends beyond the classroom.
Jakovics give her students opportunities to be active participants in their education. In one of her courses focusing on government, students prepared and presented a legislative proposal to the Baltimore mayor’s office as part of their class work. During a section on multiculturalism in South America, Jakovics arranged a video conference between her class and a class of students in Bolivia. Jakovics also developed the Model UN program at Annapolis High to give students practice with debate, compromise and conflict resolution.
As chair of the social studies department, Jakovics advocates targeted instruction to reach all types of learners. She has created several in-school models to target underperforming and minority students, such as the bridge program she developed for incoming, at-risk middle school students. So far, participants have had a 100 percent pass rate.
1995 College of William and Mary, B.A.