UVa student launches education nonprofit
The industrial model of education, such as that which prevails in the U. This rigid model does not provide room for nuanced and individualized instruction or the development of skills. With increased access to information on the internet, this model is becoming obsolete. Furthermore, the increasing pace and sophistication of automation means it is only a matter of time before the jobs schools traditionally prepared students for will no longer be performed by humans at all.
The role of the teacher needs to shift away from being an arbiter of knowledge to focus on being a designer of transformational learning experiences.
What students need now are educators who can foster the development of skills and allow them to practice solving complex challenges in their own communities. They need teachers who can help them understand not just what they are learning, but also how they are learning it. With this approach to education, students can be truly adaptable for whatever changes or disruptions they might encounter in life.
Doris Korda became aware of this need when she entered the education world 22 years ago. Before turning to education, she had worked in the technology field during the s and s. She realized that skills in fostering collaboration among teammates and creating a culture of innovation based in rapid-fire iteration were just as important as her systems engineering knowledge and skills. When Doris became a teacher, the experience at first felt like being dunked in an ice bath. Everything about the standardized way in which academics were structured went against what she knew her students would need.
Over the next two decades, she developed new methods and strategies that focused on making what the students were learning relevant to their lived experience. In doing so, she could foster the mindset they would need to thrive in whatever field they chose to pursue.
Curricular Destiny: Schedules, Grouping Patterns, and the Use of Space
Doris created a highly developed approach for overhauling how a classroom should operate to make it a place where students have the chance to work together to solve real and complex problems in their communities. Four pillars are crucial to this method, and can be applied to everything from a hard sciences class to an entrepreneurship or humanities course. The Options for Success OFS program in Columbus, Ohio, was created to serve as an alternative for high school students who have been suspended or expelled.
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When Dr. Danielle Bomar was appointed as the new principal, she was determined to try something different to ensure OFS students would be re-energized about learning when they returned to their home schools. She started with the first pillar of the Korda Method: the community challenge framework. After Dr. This local fried chicken restaurant provides fair chance employment for people who had been previously incarcerated.
They needed help developing a marketing strategy as they worked toward opening a second location. Developing that strategy became the objective for the OFS students.
Bomar, reflecting on that first pilot program. Each one of them from day one felt they had a personal mission to help this business and they gave it percent. Learning is entirely experiential. Students with no prior expertise are thrown into the deep end to solve a complex problem for a real person with a real stake in their solutions, who also acts as the audience for their final presentations.
Combined with a tight deadline, this approach forces students to get serious about taking stock of what resources are at their disposal, how to use them most effectively, and how to navigate and synthesize the limitless information at their fingertips to inform real solutions. In other words, it is a problem-solving process that looks a lot like what it means to live and work meaningfully in the 21st century. Firsthand experiences with real problem solving can be messy, but there is no better way to shift students away from passive learning and toward more active, self-driven learning.
Jeremy Wickenheiser was a science teacher in the Denver School of Science and Technology charter school network when he decided to teach entrepreneurship. He wanted to equip his students with the critical skills and confidence they would need once they graduated.
Jeremy turned that question around and asked where they thought they should start. He urged his students to master their ability to independently research and validate information and to effectively critique both their work and that of their peers. After all, these would be exactly the sorts of questions and processes they would be facing in whatever careers they chose, whether at a Fortune firm or a bike co-op. Bringing the world beyond the schoolhouse into the classroom is only the first step.
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Once the students have their challenge, the work of the teacher truly begins. Presenting a project to students and expecting that alone to be enough to keep them interested and engaged is a recipe for disaster. It involves helping students understand the sheer scale of resources available and how best to use them. There are no answers in the back of the book. This brings us to the third pillar: a scaffolded skills curriculum. In practice, this means that instead of teachers organizing their lesson plans around specific content, they craft experiences that engage students in creative problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Teachers also prompt students to reflect on their learning to help them recognize how the skills and thinking they use in the course of solving these problems can be translated to any other discipline. These skills are the foundations for the acquisition of deeper skills. At the beginning of the school year, Terry Chou, a science teacher at Joaquin Miller Middle School in San Jose, California, tasks her students with working in teams to create products that solve real problems directly tied to the intersection of science, business, and technology.
She works to help her students recognize that they are at their most effective when they are applying these skills in concert with the other members of their team. The deeper learning can begin as they enter their next challenge.
Author Publications | Page 2 | Center on Reinventing Public Education
Assessments in these classes involve the educator giving concrete feedback to students, which they can immediately incorporate into their work. Instead of handing out grades and moving on, the students build on their previous performance as they address each subsequent challenge. Collaboration and self-reflection are at the forefront of the experience and are emphasized as essential skills that can be taught and refined. Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory AAV More information about this seller Contact this seller.
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Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Many contemporary American middle schools are stuck in a state of "arrested development," failing to implement the original concept of middle schools to a varying, though equally corruptive degrees.
About the Author : Thomas S. Review