My marathon is over....
I have been privileged of late to have time to read; to read, to watch, to listen – and to think. Much of this precious time has been has been spent devouring material relating to school reform and exploring one simple question - how do we respond to the challenges and opportunities provided by the digital revolution to improve our schools? The concept of “school” as we know it is well over a century old – and was obviously developed before the digital revolution. The model of teacher / text book as the sole source of knowledge available to students is clearly no longer applicable – at any grade level. So how can schools respond appropriately to the new realities?
There is an abundance of material in the field – much of it very good; some based on research, some based on values, some based on bias ... and some seemingly not based on anything other than opinion or tradition. Sorting the “fact from the fiction” has taken time and the result, on one level at least, is disappointing. Predictably, there are no easy answers, there are no “silver bullets” – the area is simply too complex. However, there are significant and realistic principles for school reform that have been found to engage students, which are relevant to them and which also enable schools to meet the requirements and expectations of society in general. The problem is not that there are no worthy approaches, the problem is just the opposite – there are so many worthy ideas that will improve our schools.
How can the sheer volume of material relating to school reform be distilled into a “bite sized” chunk that educators can remember – and then apply? That was the task I set myself – to condense the research into a simple, easily remembered model that encapsulates progressive approaches to schooling. The result is TARGETS – presented here in a video of just under three minutes. It may take three minutes to view – but will take the rest of my career to implement. The hope is that educators can remember the mnemonic model, implement the principles contained – and reform education in the process.
TARGETS is a mnemonic that highlights important overarching principles that can guide school reform. The model is mine – but the research, reflection, wisdom and insight upon which it is based comes from the global community of educators. The tail end of the TARGETS video acknowledges some of the major influences on the development of the TARGETS model. All are easily accessible on the internet (indeed, that was one of the criteria for my research). Those wishing to develop their own understandings further (or perhaps see why the nominated initiatives are included) would be well advised to consult "The MILE guide" – Parnership for 21st Century Skills and Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow Today – but all the identified influencers are worthy of genuine study.
So, the TARGETS model has been developed. Now comes the task of applying the model in “the real world”.
My marathon has just begun...
MILE guide: http://www.p21.org/documents/MILE_Guide_091101.pdf
Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow – Today: http://ali.apple.com/acot2/global/files/ACOT2_Background.pdf
TARGETS video = original. Those wanting a static or portable version of the TARGETS presentation should click here.