At the intersections of dreams and realities

“Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be,” she says. “Hold fast to those dreams and let them carry you into a world you can’t even imagine.”

Jedidah Isler delivers a powerful talk in “The untapped genius that could change science for the better.” Her story pushes well past the subject of science and should inspire us all even more to be forwarder of others’ dreams…and to work thoughtfully and deliberately in the liminal spaces – those spaces of intersection.

Especially for those in education who are striving to advance what many call “21st C learning” and the STEM/STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics / + Arts) field, Isler’s talk is a must watch.

Pat Bassett, NAIS, the Five Cs + 1, and Schools of the Future

Are you mapping your school’s journey in this 21st century? Do you know which maps to reference? Do you know which maps to chart yourself? When your school drives a flag into the frontier line of one of these proverbial maps, does your school have clear travel plans, itineraries, and methods of travel to reach the destination(s)?

In his November 9-16, 2011 blog post, president of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Pat Bassett declares that his next few blog posts will detail the Five Cs + One. I am looking forward to this series! In the current post, Bassett encourages some particular steps to take as schools mapping our journeys into the future:

One practical step: Now that most of our schools have finished “backward designing” and “mapping” subjects (math, language arts, science, foreign language, social studies/history, the arts, etc.), it’s time to do so for the six Cs: What’s your K-12 creativity map? Your collaboration map? Your character map? Your cosmopolitanism/cross-cultural competency map? Etc.

One larger step: Since before the beginning of the university centuries ago, knowledge has been compartmentalized, by the subject area disciplines, those noted above and many others: It’s worth wondering if students wouldn’t be better-served if we paid more attention to organizing knowledge in the service of skills rather than the other way around. And experimenting with how project-based learning, inquiry learning, expeditionary learning, STEM robotics, and the like as the vessels for re-engaging students in real-world problem-solving, “where “just in time” learning replaces “just in case” learning.

Onward cartographers and journeyers! It’s about learning!