“I think the reason why we should have a public schooling system is that if you're going to provide everyone an equitable society, you have to give them all a level playing field through their education. They have to have opportunities provided to them by the community and by adults who have their best interests in mind and give them a voice in their lives and figure out what it is they want to do. They want to figure out what the good life is. That's the whole point.”Read More
“Often when I visit classrooms, I ask the kids, "What are you learning about? How are you going to know when you know it?" And then I ask them, "*Why* are you learning about it?"
Too much of the time the "why" is because some adult told them to.
Even in like really creative classrooms. And I wonder about that. What kind of learner does that lead kids to become?”Read More
The rules that have been created as a result of this system stifle innovation and we within education perpetuate it because we have a hard time seeing an alternate reality...
We have to give the people who are in education the opportunity to innovate to solve those problems, and to use data to ensure that they're solving them well.Read More
What I want is for kids to be ready to adapt and embrace whatever happens. To be able to respond to it thoughtfully - with kindness and compassion for themselves and others. And to be collaboratively figuring out: "How are we going to work together to make this planet, this world, this nation a better place...?"Read More
If you are a child who was born into poverty in this country, the likelihood that you will be able to escape poverty is not high. And that goes against every ideal that we have as a country, and it makes me mad - it is the fire in my belly that just pisses me off every day, that we have children who have so much potential and so much to offer the world, and they are not able to live up to that potential because they're not able to attend high-quality schools.
I think school in its ideal form provides a variety of opportunities, and provides a belief in the innate capacity of every child. Schools that have a variety of opportunities for individuals to flourish and then see every child as having potential and capacity really can make a huge difference for a child. I don't think that's how most schools work... We say that school is empowering, but largely we act in very controlling ways. So we use the language of empowerment, but we use actions of control.Read More
School should help her know herself. It should help her know her power. It should help her find her sense of responsibility and community. It should offer her access to inspirational guides. It should offer her skills to be able to fully embrace and utilize the information that exists in the world, and it should offer her access to great thinkers and great teachers, and the intersection of ideas.Read More
"When I started Galileo I thought what I was doing was providing access to academic areas like science, and engineering, and visual arts. But it turned out that what we were really doing was creating an environment. An environment that collectively, between curriculum design, classroom ritual, and overall community design, creates a special space that allows people's best selves to emerge. And ideally that's what schools could do too. It's harder, I know, but that's what I would love to see happen in schools."Read More
"Our vision of education is enabling students to find their passion and purpose while they’re in school... To dream and to build. Those two things are what I want school to give students the opportunity to do... Ultimately, if a school can get someone ready to live an extraordinary, not an ordinary life, it has been successful."Read More
"I think schools should exist to enable and empower people to grow into the best version of themselves and into good citizens... I hope we give people a sense of why participating in our democracy is important and build some motivation to participate. And I hope we also learn to be supportive human beings to one another."Read More
"For me, the concept of freedom without choice is an illusion. If you don't really have a choice, then you're not really free. At it's core, that's what I hope for my daughter."Read More
"I think that if we step back and ask ourselves what we would want of our society and what we want of our institutions, I think we would have no hesitation in saying that the aim of them should be to enable us to live well. . . So, schools have to be focused on enabling each child in the school’s care to make progress towards living a good life."Read More
"Because, what I really want to do is: How do you take each individual kid, understand them well enough to discover what they desire, what they're interested in, what they find relevant. And how do you wrap those pieces in an engaging matter that encourages their curiosity and allows them to explore the world, gain knowledge and skills, and become fulfilled? If you can do that, and you can do that at scale--that is the toughest nut to solve I think."Read More
"So, on the last question about why schools don’t do a better job of realizing that vision, many people would then critique the school only in so far as the school does or does not result in economic gain. The school becomes this motor, or engine, of the economy such that it’s an easy scapegoat for many people. We can point fingers at the schools or the teachers and say: 'They’ve done a poor job. And we know that they’ve done a poor job because we don’t have the workers that we need, or our economy is not performing the ways we expect it to. Or we predict that it won’t because we’re seeing these or those scores on standardized tests.' In my mind, that misses the more human elements of the good of schools and of education more broadly."Read More
"So, I'm going to talk about her I think. I think where the system is falling short for a kid like my daughter is it doesn't give kids the chance to push themselves outside the boundaries of school. Her current high school doesn't give them opportunities to go out into the field to learn. Doesn't encourage them to really do a lot concurrent enrollment. The system still wants to contain the experience for the learner in that school or that environment. And that is a real challenge, because our world is not contained like that. And it used to be more contained, but it's not any more."Read More
Why is the very system that we charge with connecting people to their greatest possibility...so far removed from what we know about what it takes to be a thriving person?Read More
I learned so much from my students about how important it was to make sure that schools were also places where humans could grow. It’s important for young people to be able to figure out who they are, to develop their own identity, to figure out what their passions are, to really know their strengths and their struggles, and to be able to navigate a world in which they need the skills and know-how to showcase their strengths and advocate for themselves.Read More
Our slogan at SLCSE is “change reality” and it came from Anthony. His senior year, Mr. Madden, the principal at the time, was in talking to that class – I think they were seniors – talking about post-graduation options. And Anthony made the comment, “you know we aren’t all going to graduate. We aren’t all going to make it – that’s just the reality of it.” And Mr. Madden said “well, then let’s change reality.” It kind of stuck.Read More
Some people would blame the teachers, some people would blame poverty, some would blame our values as a country, some people would blame unions, some would blame the “corporate reformers,” or charter schools, etc. My main feeling is that everyone’s right in some respects, but all of our views are also incomplete. In our field, we’ve had so much focus on ‘why not’ that I think we’re better off working on how we all can think differently about what’s possible for the future.Read More
I would like an education system in which we would have space for kids to develop at their own pace without being labeled, where kids could pursue and explore various different things, where they weren’t bound to desks and could be doing all kinds of other things, where they could have a democratic sense of the world around them - with a voice and a stake.Read More