April 2016 Version
A 3 minute video performance by Malcolm London
A Changing Mission
While students in Chicago might face more violence than our students, Malcolm London's overall message relates to our students' lives. The original goal of school was to sort students for the 20th Century workforce, and schools were successful in meeting that goal. The new challenge we have been given, is to ensure all of our students are leaders.
To rise to this challenge, we can not do business like 20th Century teachers where classrooms are designed to be teacher centered, with the teachers doing most of the work, motivated students participating a bit and the rest of the student body along for the ride. If we want to students to engage in rigorous thinking we have to provide them with engaging opportunities to practice thinking in student centered classrooms. Transitioning to a student centered classroom does not mean we throw out everything we have learned about good teaching. Teaching practices like classroom control and careful lesson design are even more important in a student centered classroom since teachers are facilitators of learning and not transmitters of learning.
The Rigor/Relevance Framework visually illustrates traditional learning as well as learning that can be applied to real world situations. A verb list by quadrant and a decision tree will help you evaluate your lessons.