Today is John Lennon’s birthday. He would have been
seventy-eight years old had his life not tragically ended in 1980.
In honor of this musician who inspired a generation (and still inspires students at my school today), this week's post is dedicated to (re)imagining the way schools develop curriculum, share information, and collaborate. Here are a few ideas that may resonate with others who share ideals for what schools can and should be.
Imagine schools that consider themselves as thoughtful laboratories and live missions that build upon sound educational models while also testing out the most promising pedagogical practices. Imagine schools that commonly fuse the arts into their traditional academic curriculum to promote entrepreneurial thinking, risk taking, and collaboration with healthy doses of creativity. Imagine schools that prioritize innovation and communication to help solve problems in the broader community and benefit the public good. Imagine schools that regularly identify, test, and either keep or discard practices and then thoroughly document what works best in a transmittable way. Imagine schools that are not only concerned with the learning outcomes of their own students, but seek to improve the outcomes for all students. Imagine if the best practices discovered are then freely disseminated so that as many students as possible might benefit. Imagine schools that have missions to help all students see the world more fully and more clearly. Finally, imagine schools where everyone from the youngest students to the most senior teachers see themselves as the stewards for all that can be discovered and all the possibilities that learning can inspire.
“You may say I’m a dreamer,” as Lennon wrote in his song “Imagine.” But with all of the responsibilities that schools share in preparing students for very complex futures, it’s time to learn more from each other and freely share the best models that are likely to benefit the greatest numbers of students.