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November 11, 2004

Free Choice Learning

Adults and children are spending more and more of their time learning, but not just in classrooms or on the job – through free-choice learning at home, after work and on weekends. Free-choice learning is an essential component of lifelong learning. The Institute for Learning Innovation researches and promotes free choice learning, an exciting, efficient and self-motivating form of learning for many settings. Unfortunately, its power is largely ignored by our institutions of learning because it is revelatively unstudied.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 05:45 PM

November 02, 2004

High School: Crisis or Possibility

A new report, Crisis or Possibility Conversations about the American High School (downloadable) by James Harvey and Naomi Housman for the National High School Alliance began with the assumption that something needed to be done. Some 40 organizations participate in the Alliance for this important and well-funded study about the need to "reinvent the American high school." Read the executive summary for the key information. This is the latest item about the need for learning alternatives!


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 08:17 AM

November 01, 2004

How to Change Schools

Ted Kolderie's new book, Creating the Capacity for Change: How and Why Governors and Legislatures Are Opening a New School Sector in Public Education calls into question the assumption that the country can create the schools it wants by changing the schools it has. He says making incremental changes will not produce new schools. It never has in the past and the forces of status quo will prevent it in the future. The answer: start over with brand-new schools. It's the only way to get the schools we want for the 21st-century.

The book is free while supplies last by e-mailing the author at tkolderie@qwest.net or downloading it online from the Education Evolving website, which has much interesting reading.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:21 AM

Comprehensive School Reform

Comprehensive school reform efforts say different forms of schooling are necessary. There have been many such attempts over the past 15 years often with gigantic sums of money attached. A new report, From Whole School to Whole System Reform, describes two major approches: the work of the New American Schools in 4,000 schools and the federal Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program in 5,000 schools with over $1,000,000,000 of funding. They define comprehensive reform as including: "instruction, assessment, classroom management, professional development, parental involvement, school management, aligning the school’s curriculum, technology, and professional development into a schoolwide reform plan. Wow, that should really change the operation of the nation's schools! Unfortunately, as with many other such efforts, after the dust clears, precious little has changed. Still, the report describes these considerable efforts and the small achievement gains made in some schools.


Posted by Wayne Jennings at 06:47 AM