Today, a new report, Seizing the Moment: Realizing the Promise of Student-Centered Learning, is being released at a Washington D.C. forum. It is a beautifully written report by Don Spangler; Steve Brown, College for America; Tony Simmons, High School for Recording Arts; Bea McGarvey, MCL Alliance; Dena Cushenberry, Ed.D., Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Indiana; Jim Griffin, Momentum Strategy & Research; Nicholas B. Donohue, Nellie Mae Education Foundation; Bob Rath, Our Piece of the Pie®; Rodney Powell, Our Piece of the Pie®; and Linda C. Dawson, Ed.D., SIA Tech.
These authors represent a wide range of educational institutions, including those that specialize in helping students to re-engage and complete their diplomas. They are deeply committed to equity, stating, “our primary objective is to elevate the learning and readiness of students regardless of color or zip code, and to combat the growing economic inequalities that are so pervasive across our country.” They argue that “student-centered learning represents an opportunity to address both of these needs simultaneously. It is truly a “both/and” proposition, which can help to close achievement gaps while also raising the bar for all students.”
This report spurred my thinking in two different directions. First, I was taken by the concept of Design to the Edges. Second is how we navigate the environment of different but highly related terminology.
Design to the Edges
There are many helpful ideas in the report. I want to bring your attention to the design principle of “Design to the Edges,” as I think it can be a helpful concept for all of us to think about as we try to move away from the idea of delivering grade level curriculum or standards to all students regardless of their performance levels. This is proving to be one of the hardest practices for us to let go of.
The report recounts a TEDTalk by Todd Rose: (more…)