Of Note: What If? A Seven-Part Journey Through Possibility

Submitted By:
Meghan Tally, Windward School, Los Angeles, CA

Education Eden by Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy and Alia Wong
www.theatlantic.com, September 4, 2016

In this seven-part series from The Atlantic, education experts consider key dimensions of education: calendars, content, homework, teachers, classrooms, classifications and accountability. These policy makers, teachers, activists and parents share what each dimension would look like in a utopian system of learning. On one hand, the series will read to independent school educators as an affirmation of our work – from our emphases on critical thinking, small class sizes and teachers who are experts in their disciplines, to calls for flexible furniture, blended learning and extracurricular opportunities. Yet amidst this smorgasbord of familiar ideas, independent school leaders will also find thought-provoking gems from eras past and future – like the “clean, roomy, well-ventilated, and well-lit” environments reminiscent of John Dewey, the ongoing call to focus not on tests but on “school improvement, equity and closing opportunity gaps,” and handfuls of possibilities such as year-round school with more flexibility, targeted enrichment, more silent reading, more team teaching and “joint accountability among students and teachers.” The series will delight, entertain and inspire educators – particularly those who thrill to discourse about policies, structures and best practices. Additionally, independent school readers will be galvanized by the pervasive sense of mission underpinning the series: “Most of all, schools need to produce good citizens in a pluralistic democracy and employees who know how to thrive in an increasingly diverse society.”

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