After reading Seth Godin's blog post today, I thought about how school, like the egg carton, has looked the same for a long time. Instead of the same old egg carton of a school, there are new possibilities. One type of education that is out of the egg carton is our program, the Arete PBL Academy.
It became obvious that one problem our program has to solve is the fact that every student is not applying to be in the program. In our first two years we have had about 45 students each year for both 9th and 10th grades. I think it is because we haven't given people enough of a chance to be, according to Godin, "proven right" that our program is the future of education and the "heritage" style of classes no longer compare as a useful and desired way of learning.
It is unbelievable that so much money is spent on education each year, people complain about schools, but the call by some is more of the same ideas and strategies which have caused school to be a detested and useless part of the day. It is a part which many would skip (and do) if they could. Instead of focusing on the current egg carton school, what if we repackaged it by asking "which skills will make people successful in their lives," "which skills do employers want students to have" and "to what kind of school would students be drawn?" Our answers should lead to the design of a school which fits those concepts rather than making excuses as to why the current system is not working the way people think it should. The answer will include concepts espoused by the staff of Arete PBL Academy of giving students voice and choice in a learning environment with direct ties to the "real world."
School needs to change. Godin is correct, as a high school program, we do have to do a better job of connecting with our audience: specifically community members, middle schoolers and their parents. In the world of twitter, we cannot just wait for others to recognize the inherent authenticity and superiority of a multidisciplinary education, but we must go out and create situations for others to see for themselves at times and locations and with events which will draw the audience we want, which is everyone.