…And other journalism students do better
Research from 1987 was recently replicated with the same results, reconfirming that students who work on high school publications such as yearbook get better grades in high school, score better on the ACT, earn better grades as college freshmen and are more involved in activities offering leadership and service opportunities.
…IS THE EPITOME OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
With all the lessons learned by yearbookers, there’s a clear correlation with even the most rigorous educational expectations. The process has offered “authentic assessment” since day one and the book itself is a “performance portfolio.” It’s easy to see how yearbook aligns with the Common Core’s emphasis on research, reflection and revision, and the four C’s touted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity) are naturally a part of the yearbook process. Talk about cross-disciplinary learning!
…TEACHES LIFE-LONG LESSONS
In addition to learning about photography and design, yearbook students become better communicators and stronger leaders. They meet real-world deadlines, deal with significant budgets and produce the only permanent record of the school year. Former editors are quick to credit yearbook with teaching them life lessons that were beneficial as they transitioned to college and continue to be valuable in their professional lives.
Students know some advantages of being on the yearbook staff.
Staffers are aware of what’s going on at school. They have access to photo and computer equipment. Yearbookers learn real-life skills and get to leave their mark by creating a book that lasts forever.
But, there are even more great answers to the question
Research commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation suggests that if student achievement is the goal, then schools would be well-served if they offer students the opportunity to work on high school newspapers and yearbooks.
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Walk into Evan Williams’ classroom at Clay Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, and you might think you’ve walked into a professional journalism office. There’s not a desk to be seen.
In the children’s book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, a young boy searches for ways to find lost memories for an old woman who had lost her own. Through his persistent questions and vivid imagination, he inspires her to remember events from her past. A yearbook should allow any reader to do the same when it is visited years later.
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