Enrichment Learning Model
RISE programming of all kinds is based around an enrichment triad learning model that is used in gifted education and can be applied much more broadly for project-based education.
Enrichment activities include exposure to experiences that stimulate student interest using exciting media, talks by subject-area experts, and compelling scenarios for discussion. RISE mentors build on these inspiring situations to help students generate momentum in developing projects or research questions. Advisers help balance self-discovery, effort, and targeted input on student activities. Investigative learning is the goal, and a unique project is an outgrowth of this sustained creative activity.
Before students take on an advanced research project, they often benefit from targeted training activities that advance their skills. By providing and structuring unique learning opportunities, RISE can facilitate integration of student knowledge from multiple areas, helping students put together the puzzle pieces in preparation for undertaking a long-term project with an audacious goal. Whether it is accomplishing a group objective that requires teamwork and technical expertise, or instituting a marketing strategy that requires excellent administration skills and creativity, RISE helps connect students to the knowledge and resources to make their work effective in support of student aspiration.
After RISE Institute students have identified their areas of interest and received training to equip them in pursuit of a challenging goal, they are given the support to plan, to problem-solve, and to enact their long-term objective as a project. Along the way, they grow the abilities in which they already have capacity and learn to persevere through the activities they find more daunting. In the process, they gain self-confidence and begin to reflect an emotional maturity that will serve them as a valuable life asset. Among the most important phases of project completion is communication—sharing their hard-won knowledge through presentation of a research product or through mentoring others is a satisfying and unselfish culmination of each student's effort.
RISE students often like being asked to do something most kids their age don’t have a desire to undertake—independent scientific research, starting a business, or solving a problem through legislation and advocacy. They are motivated, intense, and can sometimes be difficult to parent because they often have "a great idea" that can be all-consuming. In the classroom, they can be seen as a “square peg in a round hole”, yet are usually very successful students. They are divergent in their interests and sometimes in their performance—very high in some areas, while sometimes struggling in others. Take heart; this is called asynchrony, and can be a hallmark of long-term success.
RISE programs are designed for mastery learning, which means students have the opportunity to revise their work until they get it right. For examples of how students can thrive when education occurs in this context, please see the case studies below.