Recently, I watched a NOVA special about schools. I list a few of the things mentioned in the special titled: NOVA’s School of the Future: How can the Science of Learning help us rethink the future of education for all children?
It aired on PBS a while back, but it can be found on DVD.
· One of the premises: they were using scientific studies ranging from behaviorists to neurologists to engineers, scientists try to find what motivates and helps students learn
· they observed schools in Palo Alto from both sides of the freeway (East Silicon Valley area and West area)
· they’ve come up with various innovative schools geared to technology and hands-on approaches as well as adding character building lessons to aid students’ learning (I found this section very interesting)
· to best meet student needs, they found that individualizing lessons and teaching the whole child is better as well as working on emotional relationships with them, such as making them feel that they matter
· parental support and involvement is important starting from preschool on (the key word here is ‘preschool’)
· there are things that get in the way of learning such as the divide between rich/well-to-do vs. poor (a really huge gap)
If you found those points resonating with you, it’s a good DVD/episode to watch for information on what schools are experimenting with. So far, no one size fits all. We have to find what motivates and interests the child as well as what they are capable of.