Salon Series: Learning Places

R5_Salon Series_Education_1.jpg

The prompt:

The school has long played a vital role as the cultural core of the community. The halls and class-rooms define our formative years; the auditoriums and stadiums harbor debate and tradition; the campus bestows an idealized visage of order and intellect.

As technology affects the way we obtain, retain, and interact with information, it precipitates change not only in the way we learn – but the spaces we learn in. How can fundamental place-making strategies shape new school prototypes, and guard against the evaporation of the school as a social hub?

 

 

Key Takeaways

The Importance of Accountability

How do we know education is working? The SATs have been around for a while, but the recent emphasis on quantitative results-oriented education has left many teachers feeling like their own creativity is being stifled. Does tenure allow professors to slack off, or give them the creative freedom to challenge their students and educational models without the fear of unpopular opinions or unconventional ideas costing them their jobs? The answer to that shouldn’t depend on who you ask. Creativity, level of engagement, passion – these are difficult ideas to measure. With 70+ million equally important data points enrolled in K-12 or Higher Ed in this country, our datasets are large. Here’s hoping the ubiquity of technology may soon allow for the quantification of success on an individual level with qualitative data.

Passion vs. Reality

When educators push students to pursue their passions, there is the blunt reality of what is achievable. Reaching within the sphere of a student’s passion still counts and can engage them enough to play and pursue with purpose.

Education is Continuous

We never stop learning even after we leave the education system. Smoothing the transition from higher education to adulthood is an important asset to build into our formal systems. (This is evidenced in both the good and the bad. The good – an embrace of flexible options like Codecademy online allowing adults to grow and learn for free. The bad – a steep rise in private student loans for additional degrees, often of questionable value.)

Looking Forward to Move Forward

There have been critics of the current educational system since its inception. Is there common ground on what's better? What’s holding us back? The radio, the television, and the desktop computer were all once hailed as the modern day savior of education. The iPad is likely the next piece of equipment to be added to that list as a failure, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try new things. Educators, administrators, students, designers and others should look to the future and gain some perspective instead of pointing fingers at each other and the past.

 

 

recommended reading list

Here's your Homework

Click through for some great resources to continue your education on trends and the future of education.

 Ken Robinson at TED: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Ken Robinson at TED: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

 Art As Experience by John Dewey

Art As Experience by John Dewey

 Mind Shift: How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty

Mind Shift: How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty

 The Third Teacher Book

The Third Teacher Book

 The Creativity Post: Quality content on creativity, innovation and imagination

The Creativity Post: Quality content on creativity, innovation and imagination

 

 

confessional highlights

  Robert Mulhall , Principal at Crossland Group

Robert Mulhall, Principal at Crossland Group

"Education is about sparking a fire, sparking something in children to connect with purpose and a sense of service to the world." -Robert Mulhall

 
    
  
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   Crystal Marull , Director of Service Learning Program and Ph.D Candidate for Bilingualism and SLA at Rutgers University  

Crystal Marull, Director of Service Learning Program and Ph.D Candidate for Bilingualism and SLA at Rutgers University  

"Taking students out of a traditional classroom and putting them in an experiential environment [studying abroad] improves the quality of education they receive and transforms them as individuals.” -Crystal Marull

 
    
  
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   Rosalyne Shieh , Partner at SCHAUM/SHIEH and Instructor at Yale School of Architecture

Rosalyne Shieh, Partner at SCHAUM/SHIEH and Instructor at Yale School of Architecture

“Teachers start out teaching because they like to learn and teaching is another way of learning. It’s also a way of confronting your fears of being the generator of conversation rather than being a passive student.” -Rosalyne Shieh

 
    
  
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   David Levo , Principal for Perkins Eastman, Strategic and Facilities Planning for Education, Workplace, and Innovation

David Levo, Principal for Perkins Eastman, Strategic and Facilities Planning for Education, Workplace, and Innovation

“Suddenly doing things with your hands is in vogue, [but] there has always been real value in vocational types of education, and college isn’t and shouldn’t be for everyone.” -David Levo


 

event photos

 

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