Learning should be personal, social, transdisciplinary, impactful, authentic, and should ask more questions than find answers. Educators should abandon old models of industrial age teaching and embrace new models of 21st Century, information age teaching and learning.
The learning experience should be integrated beyond siloed disciplines. It should include social emotional learning, critical thinking, and focus on teaching process over content. It should look less like a classroom, and more like social entrepreneurship, or other productions where students make, design, build, grow, or perform amazing products of their learning. It should show learners how the learning process can have a profound impact on the learners themselves, and the community they serve through their learning. It should reveal to learners that learning can happen anytime and anywhere.
Teachers should function as guides to help students uncover their personal learning process, exposing them to the beauty and emotion of art, music, dance, poetry, and the wonders of science and technology, then getting out of the students´ way, while still catching them when they fall, and encouraging them to get up and keep exploring. Teachers should feel supported, and empowered to take risks, while leading their own professional learning. They should be recognized for the critical role they play in the success of a student, and the responsibility they have to bring parents into the student learning experience.
Parents must be supported in finding balance in our changing world. They need information, encouragement, confidence and trust. They rely on the school community to support the growth of their families. They need to be embraced when life becomes challenging, and tapped to bring their unique voice to the learning process by sharing their expertise, or simply telling their story. They are both a resource to be exploited, and a client to be served.
This is what education is about. This is what drives me to continue to grow as an educator. I want to be part of the generation of professionals that helps transform our schools.
Won’t you join me?