Stage 5: Students as World Changers

Big Questions, Big Solutions

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How do we empower students to handle complexity — and change the world? This question has always been at the heart of our work. And we continue to develop and refine resources that show us the way.

In the craziness of the last week (I did three days of trainings in Australia, then a workshop outside of DC, then started a new gig at the American Federation of Teachers) I synthesized some thinking into key ideas:

  • We, as parents, employees, and especially educators have to be committed to continuous learning and constant growth, even though most of us were never formally taught how to do that. Not only do we have to teach students, we have to live it by figuring out how to teach them and staying relevant.
  • The world has always been complex, humans just lived and therefore thought more simply before the 21st Century. Experts always thought via big ideas and conceptual frameworks in their respective fields.
  • We must be both crystal clear about the big ideas of the world AND be open to where the learning journey takes us in student-centered classrooms.
  • We do that by asking thought-provoking questions that require well-reasoned, evidence-based answers from students. Big idea –> abstract question –> specific context/project/experience/case study/text/etc. Repeat.
  • Curriculum design is a complex skill that takes years to develop AND teachers need to develop their own curriculum. How ya like that?!

There you have it. A lot of “a-has” for me. Which is why I CAN’T WAIT for the summer.

This June 24 – 27, in Washington, DC we will share our latest thinking with example…after example…after example…after example. We will incorporate technology, personalized learning, social emotional development, community building and school culture. All packaged in easy steps to start experimenting right away.

This year we are pulling out all the stops. Fog machines, goody bags, my mom’s scones! You don’t want to miss it. Guaranteed to be — WORLD CHANGING!

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