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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Principles for Modern Education

Once again, my predilection for lists comes forth.

I found this list on this website (The Power of Educational Technology) and immediately liked it.

Any thoughts?

9 Common Principles for 21st Century Schools

1. Build Community - The school should bring all learners together into a supportive community that nurtures both the individual and the group. The community should permeate all possible spaces, in the classroom, in the home and Online.

2. Encourage Critical Thinking - The school should actively encourage learners to think critically, continually asking the question, "Why do we teach what we teach?"

3. Reward Risk Taking - The school should actively encourage learners to risk failure in the pursuit of understanding.

4. Focus on all Learners - The school should surround the learner with ideas and information, encouraging the learner to pursue a wide variety of paths to knowledge, and supporting the personal growth for all who inhabit the community.

5. Value Diversity - The school should actively encourage and value the input of those both inside and outside the community with a diversity of opinions and experiences. The school should consistently check that it is inclusive and supportive of learners from diverse backgrounds.

6. Nurture all learners - The school should provide opportunities and encouragement for all members of the community including teachers, students and parents to learn and grow.

7. Pursue Innovation - The school should actively explore, pursue and assess new ideas and technologies, while always keeping the learner at the heart of the pursuit.

8. Teach Empathy - The school should actively and explicitly teach learners to think beyond themselves, encouraging students to value kindness and generosity.

9. Break down the walls - The school should provide access and opportunities for learners to reach outside the walls of the school to the neighboring, national and global community.

My only doubt on this list is the "Teach Empathy" point. I think we can model it, talk about it, look for it in others, but not convinced we can "teach" it, say, like we do the quadratic formula.

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