At an independently organized TED event, Pat Bassett--President of the National Association of Independent Schools since 2001--recently delivered an address entitled "Schools of the Future," in which he described titanic shifts occurring in American education....shifts that we must recognize and embrace to survive and flourish as relevant institutions. He starts with several observations, including this: we learn best from teachers whom we love. (This explains my disastrous foray into algebra in 1965.)
And this: By the time a child is in high school, the primary stimulus for learning will be peers. This fact--coupled by the nature of emerging (and established) business management practices--calls for education to shift from focus on the individual to cooperative groups and teams.
Bassett goes on to predict a shift from high stakes testing to high stakes demonstration/performance.
It says as much about the conservative nature of education as the nature of Proctor that many of his observations prompt us to respond with a "Huh?...Well, obviously!" For example, he sees a shift from knowledge as an intrinsic value to doing.
Education is moving from teacher-centered to student centered....
If you have the choice between a teacher who follows a textbook and a teacher who throws away the text in favor of direct experience and problem-solving, choose the latter...
Some of his prescriptions are elementary, such as this: Get outside!
In summary, Bassett is calling for schools of the future to be relationship oriented, experiential (Ocean, Mountain, skills courses, forestry and land use, etc), iconoclastic, networked to other programs (Spain, France, Morocco, Costa Rica, perhaps), activity and performance based, creative and holistic. Perhaps the future is here!
Considering the factors that will distinguish relevant schools of the future.
The parent of an enrolling student once told me, "I feel that I am investing in a peer group."
Shifting from high stakes testing to high stakes demonstration.
Break down the walls...
And get outside!
Woods Team visits the Elbow Pond boathouse for a birthday party and swim.