I had the privilege of reflecting on this topic and sharing thoughts with Devin Vodicka, author of Learner-Centered Education and CEO of Altitude Learning. Thanks to Tom Vander Ark at Getting Smart for providing an opportunity to share our work. Below is an excerpt and a link to our two articles.
In 1994, education historians David Tyack and William Tobin wrote, “The Grammar of Schooling: Why Has It Been So Hard to Change,” where they made an observation that like languages, schools have a set of grammatical rules and structures such as dividing knowledge into subjects, age-based grouping, the division of time and space. During the industrial era and the years that followed, these became so well established, that despite the rapid changes taking place around us in today’s world no one really questions why we engage in outdated and exhausting practices increasingly taking a toll on our health and wellness.
When we refer to a “new grammar of school” we are suggesting that the source code itself has been modified in such a way that comparisons with existing approaches become difficult if not impossible. This involves new systems, new structures, and new language as well. As an example, at Design 39 their educators are called “Learning Experience Designers” (LEDs). At Design39 Campus they begin this journey with the following question: What are you energized by? This question forms the foundation for collaboration as they recognize we can’t be great at everything, but we are all great at something. That something is your superpower that you bring to the table.
To Keep Reading The Series
Article 1: I Could Never Do This Alone. Collaboration, Trust and Human-Centered Design at Design39 Campus
Article 2: Building Trust Through Design Thinking
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Learner-Centered Leadership was ranked in the top 5 out of 100 books in education. Devin captures, reflects and shares tangible practices for how everyone, regardless of their role can be a learner-centered leader.
I believe that the future should be designed. Not left to chance.
Over the past decade, using design thinking practices I've helped schools and businesses create a culture of innovation where everyone is empowered to move from idea to impact, to address complex challenges and discover opportunities.