Changing Schools

Source: Mindshift, Sep 2012

The current structure of the school day is obsolete, most would agree. Created during the Industrial Age, the assembly line system we have in place now has little relevance to what we know kids actually need to thrive.
“People don’t like change, especially in times of great uncertainty,” she said. “People naturally go conservative and buckle down and don’t want to try something new. There are schools that are trying to do things differently, and although on the one hand they’re heralded as having terrific vision, they’re still seen as experimental.”

Yet therein lies the paradox. It’s exactly during these uncertain times when people must be willing to try new things, to be more open, curious and experimental, she said. In education, although there are great new models of learning and schooling, they are the exceptions, and the progressive movement has not gained much momentum.

“I’m astounded at the glacial pace of change in education,” she said. “Like many academic areas, there’s a huge disconnect between what’s known and what’s in practice. It’s very slow moving.”

“We’re operating on a 200- year-old paradigm in a world that needs an entirely different skill set,” she said. “When we talk to business owners, we hear this large and increasing drumbeat that the jobs are there, but kids applying for jobs don’t have the kinds of skills they need.”

The five criteria that Challenge Success brings to schools attempts to modernize the obsolete system in place today: scheduling, project based learning, alternative assessment, climate of care, and parent education.

1. PROJECT BASED LEARNING.
2. ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT.
3. SCHEDULING.
4. CLIMATE OF CARE.
5. PARENT EDUCATION

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