Great Conversation Today in Pasadena…and Shared Around the Country

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Great Conversation Today in Pasadena…and Shared Around the Country

Great start to the morning: a veteran teacher who had been at my workshop with the Polytechnic faculty in June came up to me when I arrived and said, “I did not get this ‘innovation’ thing until you talked about ‘teacher as lead learner and co-learner’. Now I see it and I feel like the weight is off my shoulders.  I can do this!”I was honored to moderate a packed-house discussion on the campus of Polytechnic School in Pasadena with the faculties of five local schools. We heard from three distinguished guests:Lorne Buchhman is President of Art Center College of Design, perennially ranked at the top of Arts schools in the country. Melany Hunt is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Vice Provost of Cal Tech, one of the top engineering and science universeities in the world. Steven Koblik, an historian and self-described humanist is president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and a previous president of Reed College.

Via audience participation and Twitter back channel conversation that was projected in the hall and included colleagues from around the country we heard…

  • Many colleges are mired in inertia, not even considering the impact of now-mandatory Common Core standards.
  • Lack of balance between focus on STEAM/STEAM and the humanities.
  • Need to help students look across the boundaries of subject.
  • Job-driven focus on STEM, but also on the creative skills of design.
  • College admissions offices overwhelmed with applicants: standard tests help them find the right students.

…and so much more.  Mine the Twitter feed #pasadena13 for more.

After the panel we broke into discussion groups over lunch.  I sat in with a group discussing teaching and pedagogy.  My main takeaway: we still struggle with what innovations means.  We easily default to the use of new technology or to flipping the classroom via use of video podcasts.  All my work screams out that innovation means redefining, re-imagining, and re-learning the relationship between students, teachers, and knowledge. Students don’t need adults to learn knowledge.  They need adults to help them to learn what to do with knowledge, to understand the processes of learning, to understand the human condition, to cross the bridge from knowledge to wisdom. Innovation is about changing schools from content factories to ecosystems that nurture good human beings. The teachers in the room see it; want to make the change, and look to their leaders to provide the time, space, sharing, and roadmap of how to get there.  


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By | 2013-08-27T01:33:25+00:00 August 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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  1. […] Lichtman provides an apt summary of the panel discussion, and the full Twitter commentary may be viewed by searching #pasadena13. […]

  2. SEO Firepower Pasadena September 2, 2016 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Met Lorne in passing one day in Pasadena, great fellow.

    Thanks for the article!

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