“Education functions either as an instrument to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in transformation of their world.” - Paulo Freire
Mission The South High OPEN Program’s mission is to create democratic classrooms that foster curiosity, self-reflection, and activism among students. By challenging students to read, write, collaborate and think critically and creatively about their world, the OPEN program will produce life-long learners who can pursue their passions and work for social justice locally and globally.
Description- The OPEN Program is the oldest continuous college-prep program in Minneapolis. It was founded on a progressive education model where students are given freedom and responsibility to direct their learning. The program balances mentoring, college preparation, and cultivation of passion for life-long learning. OPEN teachers use many different approaches to mentor and guide students in finding answers to questions while preparing them for post-secondary opportunities. Classes in the Open Small Learning Community emphasize an authentic and investigative approach where critical thinking is valued. Students graduate to go on to a wide range of post-secondary programs including some of the most selective colleges and universities in the US and the world.
Open Classes- The classes in the OPEN Program emphasize an authentic and investigative approach where critical thinking is valued. Students graduate to go on to a wide range of post-secondary programs including some of the most selective colleges and universities in the US and the world.
Open is based on four principles:
Democracy – OPEN’s democratic structure aims to develop and guide students in becoming engaged participants in the educational process and assume responsibility for their learning. With teachers serving as mentors, students learn to explore ideas, pursue knowledge beyond the minimum requirements, and develop competencies for college and life.
Authenticity – OPEN’s commitment to preparing students for life beyond South is reflected in the array of opportunities for authentic learning experiences. Students are provided with real life applications of concepts and skills learned, are encouraged to apply their learning outside the classroom, and are challenged to translate it in ways that enhance the quality of life for themselves and for those around them.
Academic Challenge – In OPEN, academic challenge is defined as construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry, and value beyond the classroom. Academic challenge in OPEN classes has more to do with depth, than breadth. Students are challenged and engaged in thought provoking coursework in the regular program, as well as advanced placement classes, CIS, and PSEO.
Choice – Choice is a principle that defines most OPEN classes. With a clear understanding of state standards for each subject area, OPEN teachers use a variety of motivational, instructional, and assessment strategies that ensure students develop the academic skills and curiosity to appreciate the freedom of acquiring and demonstrating knowledge beyond traditional curricula.
OPEN students have access to all the world language classes, any of the College in the Schools (CIS) or Advanced Placement (AP) classes offered at South, as well as any Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) classes.