Watch this great video produced by the faculty and students of City Neighbors Hamilton, a fabulous public school in Baltimore, which chronicles their field trip to New Orleans as part of their study of water, and history, and the world, and themselves.
There is nothing preventing every school in America from giving young people opportunities just like this one.
Amidst all the darkness of the world these days and weeks (and years), I am grateful to my friend Wendy Cole and the students of Maple Street School for letting the light slip through . . . And I greatly appreciate Wendy’s ability to take her students seriously and embrace their own lack of seriousness at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Big Bird as much as the next guy. But when people start talking about how Sesame Street is just as effective at closing the achievement gap as preschool, I start to worry that we’re becoming enamored with a seductively simple characterization of a deeply complex problem.
It may seem crazy to seed an idea that is intended to put you out of business – yet that’s exactly what Dayton Department Stores did back in 1960 with Target. And, the more I think about it, that’s exactly what every school in America should be doing right now.
What makes a mind come alive? And how will you know when it’s happened?
Two new films – one about the death of the factory school, the other about the dawn of artificial intelligence – attempt to answer this question from radically different vantage points. Taken together, they provide both a cautionary tale and a reason to be hopeful about the not-too-distant future. And fittingly, what both films suggest is that when it comes to measuring the spark of sentience, the tests we use matter greatly.
In conjunction with the PBS film 180 Days: Hartsville, Black Public Media is sharing an interactive game in which players can become either a teacher, a parent or a principal, and assume responsibility for a class full of 5th graders (or their own child), via ten different scenarios that unfold over the course of a year.