I've been pondering what I would like school/ education to be like for my son and my students. For me the culture of education seems like the place to start. Although I don't believe one person has all the answers I believe the vision of Ron Berger of Expeditionary Learning. encapsulates what can be right about the culture of learning. Here are some quotes in no particular order, that have made me think.
We built our curriculum around connecting our students to the outside world.
Not many would trust students to carry out original research.
This is the process that adult professionals go through (when designing), they go through a lot of drafts, get lots of critiques and its public.
The best way to motivate people, for them to bust their guts , is to have a reason for doing something , where they are creating something to be proud of.
Accountability stops being on page 32 of a text book and becomes about the kind of quality of the work that your kids are doing, and the kind of people that they are AND their test scores.
We can build projects that engage students in their cultural roots and yet are academic projects to the core.
There's no magic bullet towards excellence , it's all cultural, and by building a culture within the our schools where our kids feel pressured to do good work and be good people, we succeed.
The peer community sets the tone on how to be.It sets positive peer pressure.
What makes our school culturally clear is that every older child is paired with a younger child, to help them read ,get their boots on and to ride the bus with them.
My ethic of excellence runs deep, we care for where we live, the people here, not just our academic skills.
It's a long term commitment. It's a way of life.
Schools cultures that support excellence can look very different.
My personal passion is a culture built around beautiful student work.
Self esteem from accomplishments, not compliments.
Building and maintaining a positive community takes constant vigilance. It's a job that's never really done.....
The power of the (school) culture rests in community.
School culture must extend beyond the school walls.
Imagine a school in which to be cool, to fit in and be regarded as popular, you have to do quality work and treat others well.
What goes on in the hallways is as important as what goes on in the classroom.
A school culture of quality connotes a culture of high standards for all students in all domains.
My interest in the idea of sharing pedagogical purposes comes directly with the contact I have had with the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning at Monash University in Australia. Now each of these teachers were very active in establishing learning agendas with their classes. The impact they were having was inspiring. Each classroom tool can have a purpose beyond delivering content, and this needs to be shared.
I suppose the purpose of this website is collate, crystalise and open dialogues about how to increase this within classrooms. As the quote from Carl Bereiter illustrates this classroom methodology can empower our students.