Saturday, March 2, 2013

Schools Cannot Do It Alone - week 2

"American society is being completely transformed, this time at the speed of light.  The industrial age is being replaced by a post-industrial 'knowledge-age' (p. 50)."

"...employees must learn, and apply what they have learned, faster than the competition.  To that end, CEO's place their employees in the center of rewarding, supportive environments that nourish the growth of creative intelligence (p. 51)." 

Animal habitats (Design Center)
These two quotes stood out to me as I began to read chapters 6 - 10.  As educators, we have to understand that society is changing rapidly.  We must think ahead of the game.  The students that we are teaching today are going to be performing jobs that do not even exist.  We must prepare them to think, create, and problem solve.  They need to be able to perform task without someone doing it for them.  They need to learn to struggle with the work so that they can gain deeper knowledge and skills.  The work however has be meaningful and rewarding.  

Materials and space important
It does not matter what level of a worker a person becomes knowledge and skill are becoming more and more important.  What used to be considered manual labor is now much more technical and knowledge based.  Think about the professionals who work on your car or the heating and air systems in your homes.  These people must obtain a technical skill that many of us don't have.  This is one of the reasons in my opinion that STEM education is so important.  A deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts will take a child a long way these days.
Collaboration across grades
Vollmer goes on to talk about how we keep time constant in education.  Everyone starts at the same time and is expected to end at the same time.  I have to agree with him that this is not always possible based on the fact that I struggled in school early on.  It took me until I decided to go to college that I realized I had the ability to master this thing called "schooling."  I struggled with reading and was held back in the second grade to catch up.  I attended special reading classes at school and outside of school.  It took a lot of motivating and effort to get me to succeed in elementary through high school.  It wasn't until the learning became meaningful to me that I began to excel.  Once I found my passion which is educating others, it was smooth sailing.  

Through his research, Vollmer states that, "Intelligence can grow, and more to the point, schools can actively accelerate the growth process by providing learning environments and programs that stimulate the development of neural connections (p. 64)."  This is the purpose behind the design center, the NSE TV broadcast studio, project based learning, designing work around the needs and interest of the students, knowing our students and community, Culinary One on One, Sports Blitz, STEMS, QuEST, STAR, and much more.  

I could go on and on.  I would love to read what others are thinking about this book.  

Dr. "H"    
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