Class Tackles Tough Issues with Critical Thinking

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Zahn Pohl Daily Herald Correspondent

High school students in advanced English courses typically don't conduct surveys about homelessness or address village officials.

Except for those Glenbard West High School students who are taking a new pilot course, Problem-Based Communications and Technology, or "Comm-Tech," as it's called.

Designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors, the class aims at developing "critical thinkers and effective communicators," said Ellen Ljung, English instructor. "The process involves teamwork, interviewing, researching, using technology and presenting information. And one of the goals is to present the information to a real audience to create change in some way."

One team sought to raise awareness and eliminate misconceptions about homelessness in Glen Ellyn. Matt Poole, Liz Stewart, Anne-marie Truong and Susan Wisemiller surveyed 100 business owners and employees in downtown Glen Ellyn.

They found that 54 percent of respondents felt there was a homelessness problem in Glen Ellyn and 20 percent said it affects their business. …