July 10, 2007

New High School Design

The New Hamshire Department of Education released a committee's report,“New Hampshire’s Vision for Redesign: Moving from High Schools to Learning Communities.” This 48 page down-loadable and elaborately detailed framework emphasizes changes that need to occur for the state's high schools to be more successful:
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• Students connected to the curriculum.
• Students held to academic and personal standards.
• Learning relevant to students.
• Teachers as mentors and coaches.
• Learning documented.
• Data used to make the system better.

The report calls for:
-Teachers as learning facilitators
-Entire community involvement in students' learning
-Distance and online learning
-Greater use of technology
-Credit based on demonstrated competencied vs Carnegie units

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2007

Future Schools

Renowned futurist Alvin Toffler says via interview in Future School (Edutopia, February, 2007) that his ideal schools would have the following attributes:
-Open 24 hours a day
-Customized education
-Kids arrive at different times
-Kids start school at different ages
-Integrated curriculum
-Nonteachers work with teachers
-Teachers also have other careers
-Businesses are in schools
-More charter schools

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2007

Institute for Humane Education

Kids in group.jpgYou should see the lovely Institute for Humane Education's video at their website. (Click on Begin the Movie above the question) The organization is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to creating a humane world through humane education. They provide on-site and online training programs, one leading to a master's degree. Numerous materials are available.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

Holistic Education Approach

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Dr. Ron Miller of Paths of Learning and passionate advocate for democratic education says: "Holistic education began to emerge as a coherent philosophy in the mid-1980s and is today becoming recognized in many parts of the world as an inspiring response to the serious challenges of this age of globalization, such as violence, cultural disintegration, and ecological decline."

He argues that holistic education uses the best of research and practice and addresses the needs of a democratic society for socially responsible people. Miller writes authoritatively about the growth of free and democratic schools, progressive education and the purposes of schooling. He teaches at Goddard College, is an international speaker and edits the AERO newsletter, Education Revolution.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2006

Options for At-risk Youth

The American Youth Policy Forum has made an extraordinary contribution to understanding why some programs click and other don't. They have conducted careful, well-funded studies of 133 alternative programs for at-risk youth. These are summarized in Some Things Do Make a Difference for Youth and More Things That Make a Difference for Youth.

The reports contain descriptions of many programs. The critical elements for success make sense and in some ways are surprising. Unfortunately, many programs do not pay sufficient heed to the factors, which are:

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-Caring, Knowledgeable Adults
-High Standards and Expectations
-Parent/Guardian Participation
-Community Involvement
-Holistic Approaches
-Work-Based Learning
-Longterm Services, Supports & Follow-Up
-Youth as Resources/ Community Service and Service Learning

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Another report from the same source, Whatever it Takes: How 12 Communities are Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth describes specific successful local programs and a number of national programs.These reports, available online, describe each of these factors with examples, recommendations, glossary and excellent references and resources. Well-written and useful pieces of work with powerful implications for all of education when we are losing a dropout every 9 seconds!

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)