Empathy and Empowerment – critical “Es” of 21C learning and educational innovation

From Chris Thinnes (@CurtisCFEE) at Curtis School and the Center for the Future of Elementary Education:

We find it ironic – and we think the students do, as well – that for all the focus “the education system” receives in the national media, input from students is rarely ever sought. We wanted not merely to give ‘permission’ to students to talk about their shared experience, but to invite them openly to offer their input of how best to improve our schools and our system.

In two blog posts (here and here), Thinnes shares an incredible, transformative experience made possible through a partnership between sixth graders at Curtis School and Cortez Middle School. In the sharing, Thinnes offers a fabulous model and case study for inviting collaborative voice and awareness and action from students – to help empower them to be deeply involved in ways that education and schooling can innovate and reach higher trajectories.

When we see student learners as the core solutions seekers to issues – especially those in which they are primarily immersed – we not only stand better chances at successful transformation, but we also facilitate active citizenship that will likely prove essential to the continued enhancement of our national democracy and global opportunities.

Bravo sixth graders and faculty facilitators at Curtis School and Cortez Middle School!

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Also related: “School Innovation Teams – Start with Outrospection #WhatIfWeekly #StudentVoice”

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