I wanted to draw your attention to a new site for parents that talks about the evolving world that our children will inherit and how we can best support their learning endeavors to prepare them for their futures. The site, Raising Modern Learners
, was launched just over a week ago by Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon, a couple of parents who happen to also be highly regarded educators. The reasoning behind the creation of the site by Richardson and Dixon is as follows:
“The world of education and the future of work are being transformed by the networked, connected, global moment in which we live, and there’s no question the opportunities and challenges our children face will be much different the ones we faced growing up. As parents, we need to make sense of that in order to best guide our kids forward. With the overwhelming amount of information online, we know you don’t have the time (or, in many cases, the energy) to keep track of it all. Our mission at RML is to help you stay abreast of not just what’s shifting, but what those shifts mean for the your kids’ futures. We’ll provide the best links and the most thoughtful analysis of what it all means in a timely, easy-to-read package once a week.”
The most recent post on the site (First Take: Here a Screen, There a Screen, Everywhere a Screen Screen…A Good Thing for our Kids?) provides a great example of the thoughtful nature of the material that you can expect from Richardson and Dixon.
I encourage you go to Raising Modern Learners and enter your e-mail so that you can receive the weekly newsletter!
Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the education of their children. It is the perfect jumping off point for anyone interested in beginning or continuing a conversation on the long overdue changes that our schools need to undergo in order to provide a relevant learning experience for our students. Will Richardson speaks as a parent, a teacher, and a learner regarding the fundamental changes taking place outside the walls of our schools and he makes a compelling case as to what we need to do inside of our school walls to adjust to what he describes as “a shift in the way we define and acquire an “education.’”
I encourage school communities to read this book together as a tool for creating a new vision about why our kids go to school. At just $2.99 a copy, you will not find a more cost effective resource.
Will presents straightforward questions that we can present to parents and other stakeholders to help us make this much needed shift. We need to help parents and community members engage in a narrative that will help them see clearly that the test scores that our country’s education reform movement are focused upon “tell us little if anything about our children’s chances for future success.”
Will also provides concrete examples of how and where there are schools that are starting to make this shift. These schools have stepped away from the teacher-centered mentality that dominates most classrooms and moved to a learner-centered approach where students and teachers learn together about our rapidly changing world.
The moral imperative for those passionate about the education of our children and their children is clear. He leaves us with this final thought:
“Just imagine the learners they could become if we made that the focus of our work, if instead of passing the test, we made those ever-more important skills of networking, inquiry, creation, sharing, unlearning and relearning the answer to “Why School?”
Originally posted on the Connected Principals Blog
I am always looking for entry points for our school community to engage in a meaningful discussion of our vision for students. Will Richardson’s TEDx Talk from Melbourne, Australia (below) provides a clear description of where we need to be headed.
All schools need to answer the following question asked by Richardson:
What is the value of school when you don’t really need school to do school if we define school in the traditional sense?
Here are two key points from Richardson’s talk that get to the heart of this question:
- Learning is what our kids need to be doing in the classroom, not getting ready for assessment that were built for another time.
- (via Justin Reich) We pay so much attention to the measurable part of education that we miss the immeasurable part.creativity, perseverance, problem-solving are what are children need.
I would love to hear your thoughts after watching the video!