Holly Chesser at SAIS in Atlanta was kind enough to include a piece on my work in the latest newsletter. Here is the opening part with link to the rest. Thanks, Holly, and look forward to presenting and discussing with SAIS on Nov. 6. Again, for any in the area, contact Holly to attend.
As the old joke goes, if Rip Van Winkle were to wake in the present, the only place that would provide some sense of the world he once knew is today’s American classroom. Desks in rows, teacher-driven instruction, textbooks, bells, and homework. Sound familiar? For many it does, regardless if they are 90 or 10 years old.
The good news is that many schools are seeking a paradigm shift, actively investing resources and energy to explore innovative ways to make students’ educational experiences more autonomous, purposeful, and relevant.
Grant Lichtman, on sabbatical from his position as COO of Francis Parker School in San Diego and author of The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School, has recently undertaken a tour of over fifty schools across the nation, seeking to “find the common threads of innovation processes that are helping to shape our schools of the future.” Chronicling his journey in his blog, Grant explains its original impetus, “I am inexorably drawn to the root cause of our dissatisfaction with the current process of education,” what he views as our entrenchment in a model designed to meet the social and economic needs of the industrial revolution. He argues instead that schools must adapt to today’s information age by exhibiting the character of ecosystems, defined by mutually dependent relationships that communally seek the sustainable health of the entire system. Recognizing that students’ success in the future will require them to become self-evolving learners, he advocates that schools model this process by seeking to become self-evolving organizations. Although he acknowledges the historical truth in the comment by independent school head Lou Salza, “It’s easier to change the course of history than it is to change a history course in schools,” he argues that schools in the future… MORE