I was recently asked to describe my ideal school. I had a lot of fun while composing my thoughts:
My ideal school would be filled with passionate administrators, teachers and students who believe that all humans can truly learn if they’re passionate about what and how they learn. Teachers would strive to inspire their students to become real readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians and _______ (fill in the blank).
Students and teachers would be trusted and supported to become passionate learners who want to learn beyond the confines of a brick and mortar educational building. Student and teacher learning would be self directed, rather than directed by higher authority. Students and teachers would be encouraged to make mistakes, reflect from their mistakes and to learn by doing. They would research topics they’re passionate about and present their learnings in a limitless way that makes the most sense to them. Students and teachers would be reflective and transparent about their learning.
This ideal school would be a Google Apps for Education School; every student and teacher would have a connected device. Students and teachers would be given their own domain. The school district would give each high school graduate the ownership of his/her digital portfolio/domain in order for all graduates to have a record of his/her authentic growth since Kindergarten.
There would be constant and meaningful parent-teacher-student communication. There would be no standardized tests. There would be no grades. No report cards. Instead, the focus would be solely on trusting the learning process.
Beyond academic growth, there would be an emphasis on social and emotional growth as well. The school would address the whole person and strive to create an emotionally and physically safe environment as this is where true learning fully occurs.
The focus on this school would be about fostering lifelong and passion based learning.