Friday, June 25, 2010

I am tired of talking about reform - let's create the "unschool"

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08:  Manhattan Charter Sc...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Just got back from another meeting where we talk - this has been happening to all people involved in organizations since the dawn of man/womankind... like Nike - I now just want to do it NOW.  I can remember when OELMA final went from meetings to action after our strategic plan - now we meet w/ a mission & an action plan w/ a champion and a date for when things we want to do actually get accomplished.  What a concept.
Today I met a co-conspirator - a real social deviant who wants to forgo the talk & actually create!  Isn't that what real innovators and creators really want?  Best of  all, she's much younger than I am- a junior in college who is on internship @ Battelle - what could be better!  She agrees that we are missing the student voice in ed reform and agrees we must move out of the system to create a new model.  Someone today said that "form & function" the old Sullivan idea from architecture is  amiss in our plan for wholesale statewide reform.  She's right- we can't put the new into the old model of education- the agrarian/time/space/place/who is teacher/who is student model.  Hence the "unschool." 
Someone else told me today that I could create a charter school as a "new school" under the auspice of a new innovative school- as if I did not know that after 32 years in education.  No, a charter school is still a school that fits the old mode.  I want to break it!
So, if I've learned anything from ed reform it was from Daniel Kim, 2 years ago into this effort.  It has to be systematic and begin w/shared vision, not programmatic.  My vision/thoughts/brainstorms so far:
  1. Asynchronous - no summer break or typical breaks
  2. A faculty/group who respects & buys into the philosophy of engagement, risk, teacher as chief learner, teacher as one who knows something you don't and can communicate/teach it to others
  3. Unschool = US - it's community
  4. Many places w/a/several central communal spots - a physical place/an online place to come together
  5. Many places=museums, art institutes, arboretums, universities, theaters, dance studios
  6. Mentors for teachers, students, administrators from in/outside education
  7. PLN's for all - personal learning networks
That's all for now - it's almost 1 AM. 
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Is Here!

Obviously I have taken a long hiatus from blogging, but now that school is over & I am re-energized, I am back @ it.  Thanks to my friend Liz over @ Wandering and Wondering in Libraryland, I will also take a cue & review a few books I'm reading this summer - would love to hear your comments, too! Also, I am presenting @ the OELMA conference this fall on...blogging, so I better walk the walk, eh?