As part of the YearlyKos NetRoots Convention (Chicago, August 2-5), TeacherKen has put together a great panel based on the Education Uprising/Education for Democracy ongoing project.
This project has been so rich in ideas and insights that I suggest you read all the material linked to the post on the Education Policy Blog. Here is the basic description:
The design of American education is obsolete, not meeting the needs of our students and our society, and ignores most of what we have learned about education and learning in the past century. This panel will explore a new paradigm, including some specific examples, of how education in America can be reshaped in more productive and democratic fashions.
And a little more in the way of excerpts:
Education Uprising – Education for Democracy
Historically, one of our society’s central problem in improving public schools has been our disagreement over the purposes of public schools. We believe in three central purposes: preparing students to participate in our democratic society, empowering students to learn on their own, and encouraging them to explore their dreams.
A free and adequate public education is a right of every child. Not all children attend public schools, but all Americans must support public education that both fosters democracy and is treated as a right. Public education is a public good. It is a part of the commons for which we are all responsible. We start this brief essay by discussing the nature of education as a public good before we delve into meeting the individual needs of students, the curriculum, instruction, teachers, and accountability.
Education as a Public Good
There are two parts of education as a public good. One is the role of education in developing citizenship—not reflexive obedience but a deliberative and engaged public. If adults need the skills and confidence to debate public policy and act wisely, students need to learn those skills. The other part of public education is the obligation to operate democratically—to provide equal educational opportunities and to operate transparently and accountably.
Subtopics include: Fostering Democracy, Being Treated as a Right, Guaranteeing Equality, Building Relationships, Experimenting with Curricula, Supporting Teachers and Using Assessment.
Sherman Dorn, Mi Corazon and Marion Brady will be joining TeacherKen on the panels.
I doubt I will be able to attend, but I plan to follow along in the cybersphere.
Thomas J. Mertz