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Navigating Our Way



A Tool for Change: Story

As part of its frontline work lifting up all students to pursue their interests, Big Picture Learning (BPL) knew that it needed to tackle the “big picture” when it came to CTE and the skilled trades. In a society that tends to stigmatize and undervalue these career pathways, BPL needed a tool powerful enough to create dramatic social-cultural change.


And that tool was storytelling.

Big Picture Learning teamed up with the storytellers at FableVision Studios to write and animate Navigating Our Way  the first of several films the groups plan to create together. Each film will inspire people of all ages to rethink how they perceive and value vocational education and professions.

Through these stories, we will be challenging society's powerful narratives around race, class, and gender. We will grapple with the false notion that skills-based jobs are often seen as less important, less prestigious, or less intellectually demanding.

We will learn that the people who do this skilled work lead lives of value and possess great wisdomwisdom they add to and pass on to future generations. They more than make a livingthey make a life that they are proud of.

Student-Centered Learning for the Skilled Trades
HFTFS PRIZE 2017 — Learning Module 1: Student-Centered Learning for the Skilled Trades features Elliot Washor, the co-founder of Big Picture Learning.
2nd Call - Second Chances
2nd Call and IBEW Local 11 team up together to help people with careers who have come from difficult backgrounds. Hear the stories of people who have gone through enormous struggles and changed their lives.
Colorado Apprenticeship Program Turns Factory Floor into a Classroom
Some high school students in Colorado may get prime jobs even before they get their diplomas. That’s because CareerWise, the nation’s first statewide youth apprenticeship program, links students to industries and addresses manufacturers’ demand for skills, while offering employment, academic credit and support for college. Hari Sreenivasan reports as part of our Rethinking College series. Video courtesy PBS.ORG:
Rebuilding America's Pool of Construction Workers
When the 2008 recession hit homeowners - and homebuilders - hard, more than 1.5 million residential construction workers left the industry. Fewer than half of those jobs have since been recovered, and few young people are looking to careers in construction, plumbing, welding, and other skilled trades. Mark Strassmann looks at the shortage of skilled labor (desperately needed to build or repair housing in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria) and talks with "This Old House" veteran Norm Abram and Mike Rowe, former host of the series "Dirty Jobs," about reconstituting America's blue-collar work ethic.
Video courtesy CBS Sunday Morning