Scott Moran, C&C's Director of the Middle and Upper School, recently gave a very well-received workshop and presentation at the Progressive Education Network Conference. Take a look at a summary of his work below and look out for an upcoming edition of Currents which will touch on many of his points about technology and progressive education.
Progressive Education and New Media – Why progressive schools should be at the center of thought on “21st century schools”
Much is being said in the wider education world about “21st century schools.” Scott discussed the influence that progressive educators should have as the wider education world develops these "21st century" ideas: experiential learning, cooperation, creativity, self-directed learning, learning as a social experience and ease of access to tools. While many recognize these ideas as new thinking, all of these concepts have their roots in progressive education. (To read more about 21st century schools, read this article in the Harvard Education Letter, Teaching 21st Century Skills, What does it look like in practice?by Nancy Walser.)
Scott also emphasized the role that progressive educators can have in the selection and use of new media technologies, because we are uniquely positioned to discern what uses of technology are likely to add value, versus simply add flashy window dressing. During the workshop, Scott shared pilot programs from City and Country School, with input from ideas laid out by C&C collaborator, MIT’s New Media Literacies Project, among others. The participants then broke into small discussion groups to answer the following questions:
What are the parallels between the thinking behind “21st century schools” and progressive education?
What have we learned in enacting progressive ideas that could help this new movement be successful?
What are the qualities by which we might then judge new ideas/uses of technologies?
What current practices in our schools could be enhanced (not just “made current”) using new technologies?
How can we translate these ideas to the wider education community so they can be put to broader use?