Sustaining Change with Christian Long and Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman is a guy in his mid-thirties who is principal/Head Teacher of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Christian Long has been CEO of DesignShare, and helped Chris create this new school in less than a year.
The needs analysis from Chris, the new principal of a school which didn't exist yet, had to take place in only 72 hours before building started. The key element of the design would be that every architectural space became a secondary learning space, from the café (not the cafeteria) to the gap in the roof where a stairwell should have gone.
What does learning look like?
Inquiry-driven, project-based and empowering for all members - every kid produces something different in a project, not 30 identical projects.
- Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Presentation and Reflection are the guiding principles of this framework
- That's very similar to the 'Four Ps' that Marco Torres' students use when creating films:
Planning, Preparation, Presentation, Pheedback ;-)
- Technology, similarly, must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate, again, just like film has enabled and empowered Torres' students.
Do we need to start education afresh? Is School 2.0 just a myth?
Learning might look different in these schools which are rebuilt, but it's not the build that necessarily makes the difference to learning, although it helps make it quicker, perhaps. You can rebuild a school without touching a brick. It's vital that, after a conference like this, one does not try to replicate the Philly or the Marco Torres effect in a copy and paste fashion.
You don't need a new building to create a new school or a new classroom, of course. But the same goes for building new (global) models of education, monoliths dedicated to starting afresh, building a new education system from the foundations up. School 2.0 and Classroom 2.0 do not exist, in this blogger's head at least. My classroom and your classroom, my school and your school do exist and it is on our own cultural foundations that we must build. What I've found, though, this week is that a large number of educators don't know where their education system foundations lie. Without these foundations teachers can only flail about looking for traction for future ideas.
It's vital that we look towards what we can learn and adapt to our own situations and that we get the 'top' educated and understanding why the teachers and students in the frontline want and need certain things - like Skypecasts for lessons for parents to follow lessons, too, from afar. Is this a risky business? Well, what's the worst thing that can happen with your best idea?
If you have an idea to share on how we sustain change in education, technologically, in school buildings, above all, in teaching and learning, then please do go and add your tuppence worth to the SustainChange Presentation wiki.