I was talking over dinner to a family member who teaches in another school district in Colorado. After sharing the things that we are doing at AHS he shared some of the things they are doing. The most interesting part of the whole discussion was when he shared the fact that at the beginning of each semester, he gives the students a list of possible subjects to study. The students then are allowed to pick and that determines the course of study. All parts of the curriculm are designed around this topic for example, the topic right now is "birds". Oh, by the way, the students are in an elementary school. It seems that if the teacher has the drive and students still have the want to know, then the constructivist approach works the "best". The teacher shared the fact that he was worried about not getting through all of the curriculm but it seems to "take care of itself." I know that I have had the same worry but this conversation made me feel better.
I hope that I can just make myself sure that the reason I am trying all the new stuff is because I value the student's learning and I hope that school becomes a life altering activity not just a time that they dread.