Posted by: Kris Woods | December 13, 2007

Article #3: School of the Future and Beyond the Three R’s

Almost a year ago, Christian Long proposed a “Future of Learning Manifesto” for educators and students provoking some critical thoughts about what it is we should be doing in our schools and how do students learn. According to his blog post, the shortened version looks like this:

1.  “Playing Small Does Not Serve the World.”
2.  What Would Socrates Do?

3.  Nobody Cares if You Walked Up Hill Both Ways Barefoot in the Snow.

4.  Got Passion?  If Not, I’ll Tell You What To Care About. 
5.  My Memory Is Only As Big As My Heart.  Otherwise, I’ll Stick with Google

6.  Look it Up or Die.
7.  Collaboration Ain’t About Holding Hands. It’s about Going Cool Places Fast.
8.  This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record.
9.  It Ain’t About the Technology.  It’s About Being Inside the Story.
10.  Nobody Knows the Answer.  Get Comfy with the Questions

The School of the Future seems to be the embodiment of this manifesto.  Collaborative learning through a project-based learning curriculum related to real-world problems is truly a paradigm shift for the educators of that school.  Philadelphia has been struggling with restructuring and the Microsoft school is only one model being implemented.  The Science Leadership Academy, led by Chris Lehmann, is another model of technology integration for 21st century learning called School 2.0.  SLA also uses a collaborative approach using Open Source software and innovative teaching pedagogy.

How does this impact instruction in our schools?  During the discussion of the School of the Future we considered the viewpoints of different stakeholders in the community: business partners, taxpayers, administrators, teachers, students, and parents.  Many points were brought up concerning student motivation, equitable distribution, time/work committments, logistics of administering the program, etc.  While these items are important in the whole scheme of consideration of such a program, the main idea is that there is a paradigm shift in instuctional pedagogy when it comes to a 21st century classroom.  There has been discussion in the blogosphere that today’s student does not necessarily need to know all the facts.  Today’s student needs to know how to find the facts and be able to process the information in an efficient and effective way using higher order thinking skills such as analyzing, applying, evaluating, and creating (the upper levels of the “New Bloom” taxonomy).  Real-world project-based learning allows for higher level thinking of our students.  Being able to regurgitate facts is no longer an adequate measure of educational achievement.  Students need to know and be able to do the standards for 21st century learning.



  1. […] I love Kristine’s post about the Future of Learning Manifesto!  This is a witty, sharp, and insightful look at today’s learners and a vision of the future […]

  2. I love the “Future of Learning Manifesto”! Learning today is definitely more about knowing HOW to access and evaluate information than simply spitting it back at the teacher or to a test.

    Thanks also for tying in the AASL Standards!

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