I'll be conducting the interview live from Shanghai, China, where Alec Couros and I are "cohort leaders" of two groups at the Learning 2.010 conference which are focused on the theme of "Education in 2020." Special thanks go to Laurie Heikkila who helped arrange this interview!
Date: Friday, September 17th, 2010
Time: 6:30pm Pacific / 9:30pm Eastern / 1:30am (next day) GMT (international times here)
Duration: 30 minutes
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tr.im/futureofed. The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit http://www.elluminate.com/support. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event at the event page.
Event and Recording Page: http://www.learncentral.org/event/102123
the school website:
Vision and Culture of Montessori High School
Montessori High School will combine experience-based and community-based developmental learning alongside the teaching of the formal academic disciplines utilizing the operational and programmatic functions of the partner University Circle institutions as interdisciplinary resources.
The overarching goals of the school are:
- to build a community for belonging, utilizing "prepared environments" or "places" that support the concept of pedagogy of place. In the words of environmental educator David Orr, "Places are laboratories of diversity and complexity, mixing social functions and natural processes. A place has a human history and a geologic past; it is part of an ecosystem with a variety of microsystems, it is a landscape with particular flora and fauna.... A place ... can be understood only on its terms as a complex mosaic of phenomena and problems." (Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World);
- to provide challenges that scientifically match skills, fostering choice, intrinsic motivation, engagement, and social and emotional development in accordance with the psychological needs of the high school student;
- to find meaningful and real work in both rural and urban contexts;
- to engage in experience- and land-based processes that inform students through the sciences and history about the positive relationship between the human-built and natural worlds;
- to facilitate learning experiences where students seek contextual studies in the classroom arising from ongoing real-life problem solving and real-world focus;
- to integrate students' academic work with self-expression, including music, drama, visual arts, poetry, and electronic visual expression;
- to nurture character development through living together during periodic retreats and work experiences, including reflection on 1) the transcendent, 2) moral development based on experience, 3) passion for humanity-a sense of mission, 4) civility-a balance of freedom, limits, and social participation, and 5) solidarity and compassion;
- to utilize a variety of teaching and evaluation methodologies, including didactic modes (lectures, visual aids, textbooks as resources), coaching modes (independent student exploration and study with teacher assisting on the sidelines), and seminar modes (active questioning and interpretation through discussion of primary readings as opposed to textbooks) integrated with all aspects of the curriculum;
- to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect;
- to recognize that high school students are particularly sensitive to social and cultural influences and are struggling to define themselves and their relationship to society;
- to afford students the opportunity to participate in what Thomas Berry has called the "great work": an overarching perspective throughout a course of study that has unity and meaning from beginning to end, in this case from early childhood through adolescence; the great work will converge around the study of nature and society, and will focus on the three strands of knowledge that bring the student into contact with society or civilization: 1) the study of earth and living things as a whole (biological sciences), 2) studies related to human progress (physical sciences) and to the building of civilization as a whole, and 3) the history of humanity as a collective force (social studies and social sciences);
- to give students an international perspective-to help them become informed about citizenship in the world through a series of formal courses of study, which are derived from the Montessori integrated knowledge approach to the whole of humanity and its great work for the future.