Saturday, July 28, 2007

More on Rethinking Schools

I mentioned the TeraGrid conference in the previous post. As a result, the iSGTW asked me to write a little opinion piece reflecting the talk. You can find it here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rethinking schools from the ground up.

I spoke recently at TeraGrid 07. My focus was on things the TeraGrid community could do to help school reform issues in this country.

I've found some interesting information about our current K12 structure. I had thought the current calendar was based on an agrarian society, but recently saw an article that presented a different origin at least for the structure in some locals.

I did find the typical set of courses that constitute the basic high school graduation requirements have an interesting origin. In 1892 the NEA brought together a group of ten men, basically college leaders, and they produced a report that has influenced the design of high school curriculum since. Our high schools are operating on a design developed over a century ago, for different times and different purpose.

So, why do the folks who talk about restructuring schools feel the need to keeps the basic structure we currently have in place? School restructuring needs to start with a blank slate -- take what we know about learning, about technology, about life in the 21st Century -- and rethink our educational process from the ground up. Notice I didn't say "redesign schools." I think just using that term limits our thinking.

Let's create a new vision for education in the 21st Century.