Sunday, February 17, 2013

SCIL Vision Tour is coming to North America in 2013: Where should they consider visiting?

This is an open letter to SCIL, the learning center in Australia.  The director leads a "Vision Tour" each year (2012 went to Northern Europe)

Please pass this message to Director Stephen Harris
Here's a tour of the SCIL center in Australia
Copy to Anne Knock  HER NOTES FROM the 2012 TOUR

I've recently found your imaginelearning blog and I'm delighted to read about the concept of touring schools in the SCIL Vision Tour.  

a) how do you find and select the schools that you decide to visit?  The list of the 2012 European tour is inspiring.  I love the idea that a museum has a slogan like "touch everything." 

b)  are you still hunting for places to see in the US tour?  I wanted to check to see where your previous tours had visited, but couldn't find past items on your blog.  I enjoyed reading Anne Knock's description on her blog.

I have a feeling that you've got a fine list of schools to visit, since you post on ConnectedPrincipals blog.  I would enjoy seeing what you have planned.

I've seen the following schools that might be worth your time when you visit the USA ... where possible, I've added a youtube video for you to see.  

Philadelphia:  CHAD, charter high for architecture and design.  student video about CHAD (53 seconds)
Student film about a charity at CHAD 

Denver School for Science and Tech
Moveable walls.

You might have heard of dennis Littky and his book Big Picture.
His partner Elliot Washor has a recent book

Washor's blog post on Huffington Post  2009 photos floor to ceiling showing the work of their graduates.  
a student's testimony... 

Look at the small photos on the corner of the wall in this photo.  each photo shows a student who has graduated.  It's their Wall of Fame.  Tour of Urban Academy New York  interview with Linda Nathan
Starting at 0:50 in this video
What is the teacher student relationship?  Can the teacher focus on more than 80 students at one time? No.   Small by itself doesn't do it.  
Teachers have got to be willing to think of themselves as advisors, what we might called "pastoral care of young people."  That's part of my job as a teacher.  I have to know my kids well.   -- Linda Nathan

pastoral care  ... The key seems to be an academy that is under 150 students.

Enrique Gonzalez is worth a visit.  
If you want to know where to visit in the USA, why not contact him?
big picture Enrique Gonzalez  
He's busy, but he has often given me ten minutes to update me on trends in California.

In fact, here he is on video:
Nightingale Middle School  Highland Park high School

Look at minute three. One student talks about "our principal is a man." a second student talks about Thanksgiving in the school. One of the most powerful moments in education on video. 

 Here is the program's web page

The New Learning Institute's work is worth seeing... I hope to visit their center later this

Film about learning centered on students

Eagle Rock School 

An important pair of organizations:

I hope this list has given you a bit of a virtual vision tour (VVT)... 

If you come to South Florida, there are two interesting people to meet
Abraham S. Fischler
Former head of Nova University    +1 954 262 5376 is his phone

I've enclosed his recent ebook, which is available for free distribution.      You can get the free ebook at  and

Dennis Yuzenas
He works at a school that is growing...  is in its second year and is dedicated to project based learning is Dennis' website.

There's, Boca Raton Prep International school (part of a network of 28 schools).  The headmaster is Stan Daniel  it is an IB school

There are other potential points to visit (innovative schools), but the highlights are certainly these two fellows.   

Note to International Viewer of this virtual tour:  There might be some people who don't know what a "charter school" is.   Here's a report by John Stoessel.

talk show  with Stoessel  

Here's a promo from a Charter school that is in Florida   (I worked as a substitute teacher here)

I'm looking for past cities that your Vision Tour has passed through.   I'm sure looking at videos posted on youtube related to those names is a useful exercise.

Thanks for reading this far...    If you have schools to recommend to add to this virtual list, send the links to

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