A moral imperative.

Started reading Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation by Don Wettrick. Right off the bat hit this quote, 

“We do our students a disservice when we prepare them for a world that no longer exists and fail to empower them with the skills and abilities they will need to navigate rough and shifting seas. We don’t need students who can fill in bubbles on a multiple-choice test; we need students who can create, innovate, connect, and collaborate. We need students who can identify and solve complex, real-world problems. Changing the way we educate students is not only necessary…it’s a moral imperative.”

A couple days before, I came upon this video.  What is 21st Century Education?

Well pretty obviously, these two ideas feed each other.

Here’s the rub.  Our schools, administrators, and teachers still have to operate in the world of ‘filling in bubbles.’  Through no fault of their own.  It’s our present system. They know that kids need opportunities to create, innovate, connect, and collaborate. These words include 3 of the famous 4 Cs.  The missing C is ‘critically think’.  The ‘fill in the bubbles’ schools are still schools of distribution.  Information is handed out and then retrieved.  Questions are asked to which there are already known answers. Absolutely zero opportunity, nor in fact, need to create, innovate, connect, and collaborate.  The opposite of this idea is schools of discovery.  Giving kids the opportunities to create new answers to problems.  Innovate.  Collaborate.

I didn’t list the entire title of Wettrick’s great book.  Here’s the entire title.

Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level

The ‘20%’ part is an idea that talks about giving kids time to do all of the things in a school of discovery. Create, innovate, connect, critically think, and collaborate. Obviously one can’t turn the entire school day or year over to this notion.  But lots of places have made the decision to let kids explore and grow, aside from the demands of the bubbles.

This website is a good place to start.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.28.15 PM

Kind of a cool idea.



Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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