Fast Company #2 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Fast Company #2 4-10-00

Schools that Think

This article was about several schools that have gone out on a limb and tried something different. Green Field Center School. In Green Field, Massachusetts is a k-8 school whose mission is to integrate topics on civility, humanity, and diversity into everyday education. University Public Schools, a k-5 school, has developed a mission to bring the customer focus and a sense of responsibility in relation to a top-notch service, organization or consulting firm to public education. Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, a Charter School, mission is to apply the outward bounds principles of expeditionary learning to real life experiences, while challenging personal goals and providing individual support. All of these schools have great ideas but I feel that the public schools also have some wonderful teachers who are covering the same topics the above schools are focusing on but maybe not as thorough. I agree that real learning takes place through methods that break the mold of the old assembly-line model of education but I do think that most public schools are trying new inventive ways to teach children. The article talked about the responsive classroom and portfolios and how the schools were using these techniques to improve the education in their schools. There is a school in my district currently using these techniques. It is not only the private or charter schools that are making changes in education but public schools are also changing their old traditional way of teaching. Most people who are educators know that a childs home life several decades ago was extremely different than that of today. Parents and children did more talking and reading while their big event for the week might have been listening to the radio on a Friday night. School may have been more interesting for these students years ago because school had a television, films, field trips etc. that were not found at home. Todays children live in a visual society which is constantly changing. Children have changed immensely since these times. Schools and teaching however, havent changed as much as they should and need to. Most of this is due to lack of money. In many schools, the technology provides little if any of the service students get in their own home and the children may become bored in school. Educators need to find new inventive ways to get these children excited about learning. I agree that we as educators need to make some changes because the brain and society have changed so much over the years. Schools need to adjust and accommodate these changes. The problems that I see are school districts not having the money to keep up with the changing times. This article also discussed schools using teaching methods that were out of the box-type learning methods. Sometimes public school teachers are given a curriculum that must be completed by the end of the year. This can sometimes cause trouble for a teacher in that there is little flexibility in the classroom to be creative in teaching. I also feel that if some time is put into teaching, creativity can be implemented into the required curriculm. It all comes down to how much time you want to spend doing extra things in your classroom.

-- Anonymous, May 10, 2000

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