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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

K-12 Experiences that Matter

How does the learning path from K-12 work with regard to efforts that matter? How do you ensure that students in your school system get the kind of learning they need to be able to live, learn, and integrate well in their world of the future? Do you publish K-12 learning paths so that educators and students on each level of the path can look back at where a student has been and forward to where a student is moving in this regard?

We have the Common Core standards, in part, to lead us forward with regard to academic skills, concept, and knowledge, but what about bigger picture and contextual learning that matters. How do you develop that?

As I thought about that today, I wondered about how we teach and learn with regard to the following topics.

Racism, Classism, Prejudice
What is our K-12 path that makes students fully aware of the role that racism, classism, and prejudice plays in society, and how they can live/work to change the destruction created by these constructs throughout time?

Stewardship of our Natural Resources
How do we teach students about caring for and protecting their natural environment close to home as well as far away?

Global Citizens
How do we help students to become positive, contributing global citizens. What events and experiences K-12 build this ability?

Problem Solving
What is the trajectory of real world, relevant, and meaningful problems that children work to solve as they move from K-12?

Self Knowledge and Self Esteem
Self knowledge and good choices build self esteem. How do we promote this as children move up and through the grades?

Experiential Knowledge
What experiences do we foster that take students outside of the classroom and promote learning in the field? These experiences provide students with a taste of what's available in the world, and the more that we can make students' experiential learning broad and deep, the better we'll prepare students for making good choices about their future lives and endeavor? Note that virtual field trips can play an important role here too.

Health and Wellness
Do we have a complete curriculum from K-12 that teaches students about healthy foods, lifestyles, and activities, and a curriculum that gives children a chance to practice healthy activities and choices regularly in order to build skill and attitude for healthy living?

Time for Reading, Writing, and Learning Application
The common core promotes teaching of skill, concept, and knowledge, but do we provide enough time for children to practice these skills, concepts, and knowledge in meaningful, relevant ways?

Practical Skill and Knowledge
Do we make time to engage students in practical skill and knowledge related to living life well--knowledge as to how plant a garden, fix an appliance, repair an engine, and cook a good meal? Is this important and should it be a function of schools today?

Government and Leadership
Do we teach the skills of leadership and government participation? Do we give children the opportunity to lead and govern so that when they become community members, they'll know how to be active, contributing citizens?

Independent, Lifelong Learners
Do we give students the skills to become successful lifelong learners?


How would you prioritize the topics above? What's most important at this time and in your context, and what's less important? What's missing from the list? What would you add? Let me know.