Hello To The Next Generation
Envision a school system and its community that is committed to creating learning environs designed to enhance a student’s understanding of themselves and their relationship to the world around them. What would be the underlying assumptions that nurture the development of this student and the ecology of learning within this school system? This question is the focus of the Collaborative for Sustainable and Regenerative Learning (CSRL) and its purpose to help schools and communities in designing school systems for the 21st Century and beyond.
What is sustainable and regenerative learning? How is it different then other reform efforts that promote 21st Century learning? Much of the rhetoric surrounding school reform is based in making the present system more “rigorous” in order to prepare our students for the future. The fundamental structure of the school system stays intact. Information is still divided into separate domains that do not interact daily in the life of a student. What drives this situation is both the design of the curriculum and the schedule of the day. Also, there is a very powerful cultural “mind-set” and a set of assumptions of what a school looks like because we all have experienced the same structures and routines of school. Watch a young child play school or how a school is portrayed in the media, i.e. to Ferris Buller’s Day Off or Teachers.
So the essential question for all of us interested in developing a sustainable future for our children is: What kind of innovative environment is needed for teachers and administrators to model the leading and learning we are asking our students to commit themselves to?