A NEW ERA DAWNS
IDEA Board Meeting
Spring 2013
Kirsten Olson, IDEA Board Member
@olsonkirsten
Monday, October 21, 13

1
We all have our own educational stories that
shape our views of the sector

• Former professor who looked at role of schoo...
This is my
My Educational Story

WHAT’S	
  YOURS?
Monday, October 21, 13

3
The Big Story

Monday, October 21, 13

4
•
•
•
•
•

Old way of educating is ending
Myths about educational system contested
Formal sector is in collapse...which me...
A Little History

Monday, October 21, 13

6
Dame Schools and Harvard

• 17th and 18th century schooling only for
elite white men in US

• Schooling “scattered and rar...
Along Comes
Horace Mann
• Mid-19th century birth of Common School
movement

• Horace Mann proselytizer for common
educatio...
“EDUCATION THEN IS THE GREAT
EQUALIZER OF THE CONDITIONS OF MEN,
THE BALANCE WHEEL OF
THE SOCIAL MACHINERY”
-HORACE MANN, ...
Shadow of the Common
School Myth
• Society awash in systemic violence and
racial oppression

• Enslaved African American p...
The One Best System:
Old Industrial Model
•

1890-1950: Rise of the
Industrial System

•
•

“One best system”

•
•

Modele...
Skills That Mattered Then
• Memorization
• Categorization
• Compliance
• Understanding of
hierarchy
• Attention to
authori...
Shadow of Universal
Access
•

Schools used to
“socialize” huge waves of
immigrants and
“unwanteds”

•

AA population/
immi...
Brown V. Board 1954
•

Schools become central
to creating equality in US

•

Social institutions/courts
central to achievi...
Test-based
Accountability
•
•

1981-present

•
•

America feels End-Of-Empire sense of competition

A Nation At Risk, 1981...
What’s the theory
behind test-based
accountability?
•
•

Measure, test, quantify: no
room to hide

•

Monday, October 21, ...
Shadow of TBA:

• Exacerbates weaknesses of teaching
practice

• Narrows effectiveness/relevance of school
• Limited effec...
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Monday, October 21, 13

18
SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED TO
SORT AND TRACK KIDS

Monday, October 21, 13

19
• School

has historically been about inculcating and
privileging middle class values

• “White
Monday, October 21, 13

Is...
Monday, October 21, 13

21
PRIVILEGING
THE
ALREADY
PRIVILEGED

Monday, October 21, 13

22
“JUST BE
GRATEFUL
YOU WERE
ABLE TO
GO TO
SCHOOL.”
WHILE MAINTAINING OTHER CONFLICTING BELIEFS
Monday, October 21, 13

23
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIDS
COMPLAIN ABOUT. SCHOOL WAS
MUCH TOUGHER IN MY DAY.”

Monday, October 21, 13

24
“SEE, WHAT WE
SEEM TO FORGET IS
THAT IT’S ALL
THERE FOR THE
TAKING. IF YOU
WANT AN
EDUCATION IN
THIS COUNTRY
YOU CAN HAVE ...
Education can be
both liberatory,
democratizing,
and reproduce
social and
economic
inequality.
DIFFICULT FOR US TO HOLD BO...
Our culture has difficulty with this complexity

Monday, October 21, 13

27
“Once our institutions develop beyond a certain
scale, they became perverse, counterproductive to
the beneficial ends for w...
Where Are We Now?

Monday, October 21, 13

29
Learning Has Left The Building

Monday, October 21, 13

30
WE ARE AT THE
END OF ERA
• End

of test-based accountability

• Discourse

too)

• More

successful systems...

• Invest

...
Monday, October 21, 13

32
Traditional Sector is in free fall

Monday, October 21, 13

33
TEACHERS FEEL EMBATTLED
AND UNAPPRECIATED
•3

million teachers trying
to “save” a life way

• 50%

of young teachers
will ...
Teachers need to grieve a lost lifeway

Monday, October 21, 13

35
SYSTEM’S DIFFICULTY
ADAPTING THE THE NEW
CONDITIONS OF LEARNING

Monday, October 21, 13

36
NOW 2 CRITICAL
CONDITIONS HAVE
CHANGED THE WORLD

Monday, October 21, 13

37
We must ask the fundamental question...

Monday, October 21, 13

38
Internet
changes all
•

Education system based
on information scarcity

•

Schools as purveyors
and certifiers of
knowledge...
• Three

quarters of million K-12 students enrolled in
virtual school

Monday, October 21, 13

40
HARVARD’S ED X HAS 1.4
MILLION USERS, AND WAS
LAUNCHED 9 MONTHS AGO

It aims to have a billion...
Monday, October 21, 13

...
Power of Least-Invasive
Education

Teachers on the ‘granny cloud’
Monday, October 21, 13

42
• Virtual

school

• Homeschool
• MOOCs
• DIY

School

• PBS

series Is
School
Enough?

Monday, October 21, 13

43
RISE OF NEUROBIOLOGICAL
REVOLUTION

We have learned more about how the human brain in the
last 20 years than we did in the...
Fundamental model of “how we do learning” flawed

Monday, October 21, 13

45
“Old School” teaching attitudes that no longer serve

Monday, October 21, 13

46
System	
  sEll	
  based	
  on	
  shame	
  and	
  hierarchy,	
  
where	
  non	
  middle-­‐class	
  kids	
  are	
  ‘less	
  ...
“School is like the meat packing
business, designed to teach
children what grade of
meat they are, and to send
them off to...
“IF YOU HAD TO DESIGN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WAS
GOING TO EFFECTIVELY TURN OFF THE HUMAN BRAIN,
IT WOULD BE THE CONTEMPORARY ...
SKILLS TAUGHT FOR AN
ECONOMY THAT NO
LONGER EXISTS

• Following

the rules

• Respect

for hierarchy

• Narrow

slice of a...
Skills that matter now...

Creativity, teaming, capacity to see patterns in huge swaths
of information
Monday, October 21,...
CAN WE HOLD THAT OUR
SYSTEM OF EDUCATION,
THAT HAS DONE SO
MUCH FOR US,
TIME IS OVER?

Monday, October 21, 13

52
OTHER IMPORTANT SOCIOECONOMICS...

CURIOSITY, WONDERING
Desire to hear in new ways
Monday, October 21, 13

53
• 84

% of teachers in US are white

• 79%

are female

• National

Monday, October 21, 13

Center for Education Informati...
Income Inequality in US has not been greater since 1920s

CATHEDRAL SOUP KITCHEN, CAMDEN NJ
2012
Monday, October 21, 13

5...
Chances of rising out of poverty have radically
diminished over 3 generations

“We are more unequal in terms of political ...
“We are losing equal opportunity in this country.”
-Cornell West

Boston Mother’s Day March 2013
organized to mourn young ...
US Will Be A...

MINORITY MAJORITY NATION
WITHIN 25-30 YEARS
Monday, October 21, 13

58
SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

• 40%

of students expelled from school are African American

• 68%

of all inmates do not have...
WHERE DO WE GO FROM
HERE?

Monday, October 21, 13

60
IDEA’S STORY....

DURING THE LAST 20 YEARS PROGRESSIVE
EDUCATORS HAVE GONE INTO HIDING

Monday, October 21, 13

61
IN OUTPOSTS, IN ISOLATION,
BUT DOING GREAT WORK
Monday, October 21, 13

62
IDEA puts these people together in a coherent,
politically powerful ways

Monday, October 21, 13

63
There is great education going on all over the
country

Monday, October 21, 13

64
We challenge the main story of the media

Monday, October 21, 13

65
IDEA IS BUILDING A POWERFUL
NETWORK FOR POLITICAL
AND SOCIAL INFLUENCE
Monday, October 21, 13

66
WE CREATE A
“VALUE NETWORK”

A value network is a business analysis perspective that describes social and technical resour...
And ask people to...

CLAIM YOUR OWN
EDUCATIONAL
STORY
Monday, October 21, 13

68
TO KNOW

HOW MUCH YOU MATTER

Monday, October 21, 13

69
TO OBSERVE

WE DENY OUR POWER
THROUGH A
“NOT ENOUGH”
DIALOG

Monday, October 21, 13

70
TO CHANGE THE
WORLD YOU HAVE TO
CHANGE WHAT YOU
THINK IS REAL
Monday, October 21, 13

71
WHERE WE’RE GOING

Monday, October 21, 13

72
COMMUNITIES TOGETHER
CREATING A RANGE OF
EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS
Monday, October 21, 13

73
EDUCATIONAL CENTERS AS
“HEARTHS”

El Puente Academy of Peace and Justice, Brooklyn, NY
Monday, October 21, 13

74
THE POINT, SOUTH BRONX

• Justice

and art-based after school programs grades 1-12

• Activism

around urban farming, habi...
NORTH STAR SELF-DIRECTED
LEARNING CENTER,
AMHERST MA

• “Learning

is natural. Schooling is optional.”

• Flexible

self-d...
MINNESOTA NEW COUNTRY
SCHOOL,
HENDERSON, MN

• “Farm
• “The

Monday, October 21, 13

kids with attitude”

way we’ve done l...
WAY ACADEMY,
DETROIT MI

• Personalized
• 80%

learning for high school students

online; 20% in person

• Online

learnin...
“NAMING OUR REALITY IS
THE ONLY WAY TO BE FREE.”

Monday, October 21, 13

79
“IF YOU’RE NOT
MAKING TROUBLE
YOU’RE NOT
WORKING ON THE
RIGHT PROBLEMS.”
-HERB KOHL TO ME,
2006

Monday, October 21, 13

8...
DO A BETTER JOB THAN YOUR PARENTS

Monday, October 21, 13

81
http://www.democraticeducation.org

Monday, October 21, 13

82
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Where Are We Now?

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The US education sector is in dramatic transformation. Where are we now and where are we going?

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Where Are We Now?

  1. 1. A NEW ERA DAWNS IDEA Board Meeting Spring 2013 Kirsten Olson, IDEA Board Member @olsonkirsten Monday, October 21, 13 1
  2. 2. We all have our own educational stories that shape our views of the sector • Former professor who looked at role of schools in American society •Now global leadership coach/OD consultant •Close educational discourse watcher for over 20 years Monday, October 21, 13 2
  3. 3. This is my My Educational Story WHAT’S  YOURS? Monday, October 21, 13 3
  4. 4. The Big Story Monday, October 21, 13 4
  5. 5. • • • • • Old way of educating is ending Myths about educational system contested Formal sector is in collapse...which means transformation Transformation creates threats/opportunities IDEA is part of the “new” discourse of educational transformation Monday, October 21, 13 5
  6. 6. A Little History Monday, October 21, 13 6
  7. 7. Dame Schools and Harvard • 17th and 18th century schooling only for elite white men in US • Schooling “scattered and rare,” haphazard • Schooling not a responsibility of the state • Decentralized, family-based • Largely unavailable to folks of color Monday, October 21, 13 7
  8. 8. Along Comes Horace Mann • Mid-19th century birth of Common School movement • Horace Mann proselytizer for common education • Education to be “great engine” of equality • Education a wealth provider • Great Social Movements period Monday, October 21, 13 8
  9. 9. “EDUCATION THEN IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER OF THE CONDITIONS OF MEN, THE BALANCE WHEEL OF THE SOCIAL MACHINERY” -HORACE MANN, 1842 Monday, October 21, 13 9
  10. 10. Shadow of the Common School Myth • Society awash in systemic violence and racial oppression • Enslaved African American population • School is to be used for harsh socializing of immigrants, “Others” Monday, October 21, 13 10
  11. 11. The One Best System: Old Industrial Model • 1890-1950: Rise of the Industrial System • • “One best system” • • Modeled on the factory Belief that schools create middle class Admiration of efficiency Monday, October 21, 13 11
  12. 12. Skills That Mattered Then • Memorization • Categorization • Compliance • Understanding of hierarchy • Attention to authority Monday, October 21, 13 12
  13. 13. Shadow of Universal Access • Schools used to “socialize” huge waves of immigrants and “unwanteds” • AA population/ immigrants in hugely segregated society • Schools privilege what is “normative”: white, middle-class values Monday, October 21, 13 13
  14. 14. Brown V. Board 1954 • Schools become central to creating equality in US • Social institutions/courts central to achieving justice • Schools have “both/and” responsibilities • Schools as both democratizing and liberating and reproducing social inequality Monday, October 21, 13 14
  15. 15. Test-based Accountability • • 1981-present • • America feels End-Of-Empire sense of competition A Nation At Risk, 1981; No Child Left Behind 2001, Race to the Top 2011; Common Core Policy makers ask schools respond with test-based accountability Monday, October 21, 13 15
  16. 16. What’s the theory behind test-based accountability? • • Measure, test, quantify: no room to hide • Monday, October 21, 13 Schools compete with each other to get better “Equality” two-edged: greater emphasis on achievement gap used to drive test-based agenda 16
  17. 17. Shadow of TBA: • Exacerbates weaknesses of teaching practice • Narrows effectiveness/relevance of school • Limited effect on competitiveness • Loss of confidence in system Monday, October 21, 13 17
  18. 18. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Monday, October 21, 13 18
  19. 19. SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED TO SORT AND TRACK KIDS Monday, October 21, 13 19
  20. 20. • School has historically been about inculcating and privileging middle class values • “White Monday, October 21, 13 Is Right” in school 20
  21. 21. Monday, October 21, 13 21
  22. 22. PRIVILEGING THE ALREADY PRIVILEGED Monday, October 21, 13 22
  23. 23. “JUST BE GRATEFUL YOU WERE ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL.” WHILE MAINTAINING OTHER CONFLICTING BELIEFS Monday, October 21, 13 23
  24. 24. “I DON’T KNOW WHAT KIDS COMPLAIN ABOUT. SCHOOL WAS MUCH TOUGHER IN MY DAY.” Monday, October 21, 13 24
  25. 25. “SEE, WHAT WE SEEM TO FORGET IS THAT IT’S ALL THERE FOR THE TAKING. IF YOU WANT AN EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY YOU CAN HAVE IT. KIDS SHOULD GET THEIR BUTTS IN GEAR.” Monday, October 21, 13 25
  26. 26. Education can be both liberatory, democratizing, and reproduce social and economic inequality. DIFFICULT FOR US TO HOLD BOTH REALITIES Monday, October 21, 13 26
  27. 27. Our culture has difficulty with this complexity Monday, October 21, 13 27
  28. 28. “Once our institutions develop beyond a certain scale, they became perverse, counterproductive to the beneficial ends for which they were originally conceived. The end result of this paradoxical counter-productivity was schools which make people dumb, complacent and unquestioning; hospitals which produce disease; prisons which make people violent; travel at high speed which creates traffic jams; and ‘aid and development’ agencies which create more and more ‘needy’ and ‘underconsuming’ people.” -Ivan Ilich, author of Deschooling Society (1971) “COUNTER PRODUCTIVITY” Monday, October 21, 13 28
  29. 29. Where Are We Now? Monday, October 21, 13 29
  30. 30. Learning Has Left The Building Monday, October 21, 13 30
  31. 31. WE ARE AT THE END OF ERA • End of test-based accountability • Discourse too) • More successful systems... • Invest heavily in skills/knowledge of teachers • Broaden • Focus Monday, October 21, 13 has run out of gas (Common Core will definitions of “good” education on equalizing access and resources 31
  32. 32. Monday, October 21, 13 32
  33. 33. Traditional Sector is in free fall Monday, October 21, 13 33
  34. 34. TEACHERS FEEL EMBATTLED AND UNAPPRECIATED •3 million teachers trying to “save” a life way • 50% of young teachers will leave sector within 5 years • Teachers feel busted, angry, hurt • Trapped within incredibly bureaucratic, unresponsive system Monday, October 21, 13 34
  35. 35. Teachers need to grieve a lost lifeway Monday, October 21, 13 35
  36. 36. SYSTEM’S DIFFICULTY ADAPTING THE THE NEW CONDITIONS OF LEARNING Monday, October 21, 13 36
  37. 37. NOW 2 CRITICAL CONDITIONS HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD Monday, October 21, 13 37
  38. 38. We must ask the fundamental question... Monday, October 21, 13 38
  39. 39. Internet changes all • Education system based on information scarcity • Schools as purveyors and certifiers of knowledge • Active choosers already leaving system Monday, October 21, 13 39
  40. 40. • Three quarters of million K-12 students enrolled in virtual school Monday, October 21, 13 40
  41. 41. HARVARD’S ED X HAS 1.4 MILLION USERS, AND WAS LAUNCHED 9 MONTHS AGO It aims to have a billion... Monday, October 21, 13 41
  42. 42. Power of Least-Invasive Education Teachers on the ‘granny cloud’ Monday, October 21, 13 42
  43. 43. • Virtual school • Homeschool • MOOCs • DIY School • PBS series Is School Enough? Monday, October 21, 13 43
  44. 44. RISE OF NEUROBIOLOGICAL REVOLUTION We have learned more about how the human brain in the last 20 years than we did in the last 200 Monday, October 21, 13 44
  45. 45. Fundamental model of “how we do learning” flawed Monday, October 21, 13 45
  46. 46. “Old School” teaching attitudes that no longer serve Monday, October 21, 13 46
  47. 47. System  sEll  based  on  shame  and  hierarchy,   where  non  middle-­‐class  kids  are  ‘less  than’ Text • Barely  half  of  minority  students  complete  high  school  in  four   years       • Only  15%  of  low-­‐income  students  earn  a  college  degree   within  nine  years  of  starEng  high  school Monday, October 21, 13 47
  48. 48. “School is like the meat packing business, designed to teach children what grade of meat they are, and to send them off to the right market-but make sure they believe it.” -John Holt, What Do I Do Monday, 1970 Monday, October 21, 13 48
  49. 49. “IF YOU HAD TO DESIGN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WAS GOING TO EFFECTIVELY TURN OFF THE HUMAN BRAIN, IT WOULD BE THE CONTEMPORARY CLASSROOM.” -JOHN MEDINA, BRAIN RULES Monday, October 21, 13 49
  50. 50. SKILLS TAUGHT FOR AN ECONOMY THAT NO LONGER EXISTS • Following the rules • Respect for hierarchy • Narrow slice of ability is “excellence” Monday, October 21, 13 50
  51. 51. Skills that matter now... Creativity, teaming, capacity to see patterns in huge swaths of information Monday, October 21, 13 51
  52. 52. CAN WE HOLD THAT OUR SYSTEM OF EDUCATION, THAT HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR US, TIME IS OVER? Monday, October 21, 13 52
  53. 53. OTHER IMPORTANT SOCIOECONOMICS... CURIOSITY, WONDERING Desire to hear in new ways Monday, October 21, 13 53
  54. 54. • 84 % of teachers in US are white • 79% are female • National Monday, October 21, 13 Center for Education Information, 2011 54
  55. 55. Income Inequality in US has not been greater since 1920s CATHEDRAL SOUP KITCHEN, CAMDEN NJ 2012 Monday, October 21, 13 55
  56. 56. Chances of rising out of poverty have radically diminished over 3 generations “We are more unequal in terms of political power, income, and opportunity than we have been in 80 years.” -Robert Reich Monday, October 21, 13 56
  57. 57. “We are losing equal opportunity in this country.” -Cornell West Boston Mother’s Day March 2013 organized to mourn young men lost to violence in the City of Boston Monday, October 21, 13 57
  58. 58. US Will Be A... MINORITY MAJORITY NATION WITHIN 25-30 YEARS Monday, October 21, 13 58
  59. 59. SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE • 40% of students expelled from school are African American • 68% of all inmates do not have a high school diploma Monday, October 21, 13 59
  60. 60. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Monday, October 21, 13 60
  61. 61. IDEA’S STORY.... DURING THE LAST 20 YEARS PROGRESSIVE EDUCATORS HAVE GONE INTO HIDING Monday, October 21, 13 61
  62. 62. IN OUTPOSTS, IN ISOLATION, BUT DOING GREAT WORK Monday, October 21, 13 62
  63. 63. IDEA puts these people together in a coherent, politically powerful ways Monday, October 21, 13 63
  64. 64. There is great education going on all over the country Monday, October 21, 13 64
  65. 65. We challenge the main story of the media Monday, October 21, 13 65
  66. 66. IDEA IS BUILDING A POWERFUL NETWORK FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INFLUENCE Monday, October 21, 13 66
  67. 67. WE CREATE A “VALUE NETWORK” A value network is a business analysis perspective that describes social and technical resources within and between businesses. The nodes in a value network represent people (or roles). The nodes are connected by interactions that represent tangible and intangible deliverables. These deliverables take the form of knowledge or other intangibles and/or financial value. Value networks exhibit interdependence. They account for the overall worth of products and services. Companies have both internal and external value networks. -Value Network Basics, openvaluenetworks.com Monday, October 21, 13 67
  68. 68. And ask people to... CLAIM YOUR OWN EDUCATIONAL STORY Monday, October 21, 13 68
  69. 69. TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU MATTER Monday, October 21, 13 69
  70. 70. TO OBSERVE WE DENY OUR POWER THROUGH A “NOT ENOUGH” DIALOG Monday, October 21, 13 70
  71. 71. TO CHANGE THE WORLD YOU HAVE TO CHANGE WHAT YOU THINK IS REAL Monday, October 21, 13 71
  72. 72. WHERE WE’RE GOING Monday, October 21, 13 72
  73. 73. COMMUNITIES TOGETHER CREATING A RANGE OF EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS Monday, October 21, 13 73
  74. 74. EDUCATIONAL CENTERS AS “HEARTHS” El Puente Academy of Peace and Justice, Brooklyn, NY Monday, October 21, 13 74
  75. 75. THE POINT, SOUTH BRONX • Justice and art-based after school programs grades 1-12 • Activism around urban farming, habitat restoration, transportation equity • “At risk children and teens are not bundles of problems, but well-springs of solutions Monday, October 21, 13 75
  76. 76. NORTH STAR SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING CENTER, AMHERST MA • “Learning is natural. Schooling is optional.” • Flexible self-designed learning programs for students 11-18 • Teacher as guide, coach Monday, October 21, 13 76
  77. 77. MINNESOTA NEW COUNTRY SCHOOL, HENDERSON, MN • “Farm • “The Monday, October 21, 13 kids with attitude” way we’ve done learning in the past isn’t good enough” 77
  78. 78. WAY ACADEMY, DETROIT MI • Personalized • 80% learning for high school students online; 20% in person • Online learning available 24 hours, 365 days year; staff available 24 hours a day • Team leader (adult mentor) provides one on one support, home visits • 11 sites, classrooms called “labs” Monday, October 21, 13 78
  79. 79. “NAMING OUR REALITY IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE FREE.” Monday, October 21, 13 79
  80. 80. “IF YOU’RE NOT MAKING TROUBLE YOU’RE NOT WORKING ON THE RIGHT PROBLEMS.” -HERB KOHL TO ME, 2006 Monday, October 21, 13 80
  81. 81. DO A BETTER JOB THAN YOUR PARENTS Monday, October 21, 13 81
  82. 82. http://www.democraticeducation.org Monday, October 21, 13 82

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