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Innovative Schools

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Check out the videos on the ning for some very interesting schools.

  • Calvert School, an independent k-8 school has been marketing its curricula for several years to home-schoolers and other online learners.
  • At the Urban School in San Francisco, summer technology workshops pair students and teachers for training on project-based learning activities, resulting in an innovative program.
  • Briarcliff Middle School was written about in the NY Times and featured in a video for its approach to social & emotional learning.
  • Many analysts believe that to achieve the right balance between core knowledge and what educators call "portable skills"--critical thinking, making connections between ideas and knowing how to keep on learning--the U.S. curriculum needs to...dwell on key concepts that are taught in depth and in careful sequence, as opposed to a succession of forgettable details so often served in U.S. classrooms...instead, we need extremely small textbooks that focus on the most powerful and generative ideas...These might be the key theorems in math, laws of thermodynamics in science, or the relationship between supply and demand in economics. America's bloated textbooks tend to gallop through a mind-numbing stream of topics and subtopics in an attempt to address a vast range of state standards. Depth over breadth and the ability to leap across disciplines are exactly what teachers aim for at the Henry Ford Academy, a public charter school in Dearborn, Mich. This fall, 10th-graders in Charles Dershimer's science class began a project that combines concepts from earth science, chemistry, business and design. After reading about Nike's efforts to develop a more environmentally friendly sneaker, students had to choose a consumer product, analyze and explain its environmental impact and then develop a plan for re-engineering it to reduce pollution costs without sacrificing its commercial appeal. Says Dershimer: "It's a challenge for them and for me." [1]
  • Soundings Democratic classroom by Mark Springer
  • It would be great to get reports from schools like Brewster Academy, the School at Columbia, the Ross School, and the Conserve School about creating or redesigning their schools.
  • EdVisions Schools Funded by the Gates foundations with two main principles: project based learning and small democratic learning communities. Although they are project-based schools they rely on extensive and elaborate rubrics and checklists to make certain that their students meet state standards.

Also see: Integration Examples

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