As I think about my school environment and our tremendous potential for continued, optimal growth, I mainly seek streamline systems because I can't learn it all.
As I read post after post, I'm so aware of the potential out there for engaging learning design and student investment and growth, yet I know when everyone in the organization has the same, long "to-do" list our efforts become diluted. In this age of information excess, it's essential that we share the responsibility for research and development; decide on areas that we'll study to forward in our places of work, and share that information in timely, efficient ways.
Some may say that we already do that with regard to discipline strands such as music, art, math and more. Yet, I'm thinking more about 21st century knowledge streams--areas of research and development that are essential for students today. Areas such as STEAM, cognition, social media/communication, global studies/exchange, multimedia composition and outdoor exploration/study.
Personally, I'm interested in the following areas when it comes to school change and advancement:
1. Restructuring schools for best effect.
2. STEAM: The intersection of science, tech, engineering, art and math in creative, meaningful ways with apt tools, labs and learning design.
3. Multimedia Composition to present and share learning and thought across disciplines and throughout the globe.
4. Global Studies: The development of students' repertoire when it comes to understanding and interacting with the global environment in meaningful, respectful and productive ways.
5. Cognition: Learning about the latest research when it comes to the brain and learning and applying the related mindsets, habits and routines to optimally match learning to brain function.
6. Community: Creating policy and structure that supports the development of optimal, child-friendly communities--communities with wonderful schools, beautiful natural environments, bountiful gardens, sports and recreation facilities, the arts and safety.
7. The Outdoor Classroom: Commitment to outdoor study, exploration, design and experimentation.
8. Learning Design: Designing optimal, child-friendly, interdisciplinary learning design for best effect.
Another area that I enjoy interacting with, but less interested in researching is data collection and analysis--if you talk to anyone in the broader world of work, you'll find that data collection is at the center of their work. The key in education is to continually look for the best sources of data and streamline that collection and use so that it is targeted to the most important results and direction.
Schools that change and move forward will continue a play a positive role in our society, and schools that sit still will become obsolete. The more I read, the more I realize this is true. Do you agree?