Monday, May 27, 2013

A proposal for an after-school learning center: any comments?

What parts of our current curriculum are like "hunting saber-toothed tigers"?

See this insightful PDF

Here's an extract



I'm pitching the following idea to a private school:   Create an after-school academy of skills.

Making videos
Building personal learning plans
Learning from books that are not required reading in school
Typing (touch typing, 10-finger typing)
map reading


These ideas could also be included.  This is a letter that I wrote to a 96-year-old mentor who guided me in learning about mythology, language, music and art:

Hello Jack

I’m moving ahead with making an after-school program at a local private academy.  I meet with the principal on June 6.   I’m going to tell him about how you raised your kids with music and books around them, plus art, and I’m going to propose that the after school center could have lots of posters on the wall.

I’m going to propose the following for the “community school after school program”

a) Museums (art, science and history):  Visiting museums virtually, the Louvre, for example, and we’ll walk through the museum via the computer.  I’ll tell them stories about places I saw when I was 17 and 18.

b) Geography:  I’ll tell them about climbing mountains

c) Myths and imagination:  I’ll tell them stories from mythology (these kids are grades 5 to 8, so some of them have myths, but they don’t know about Athens or Lindos.)   So it’s back to the computer to see the donkeys of Lindos and the delightful water of the Mediterranean.

d) History:  I’m going to tell them about Annecy and Talloire.   I’m going to tell them about the summer of 1938 and how you were in a small town south of Munich and watched as two national leaders met.  I’m going to tell the students these stories that you told me.

e)  Biographies:  I hope you will consider putting your life story into an ebook, at least parts of it, so that I can have the students read with me, instead of just hearing me tell the stories.  The images of the newspaper articles and your encounters with FDR and Eleanor are lovely.

f)  Blackboards and Overhead Projectors:  I want to tell them the stories of the early forms of instructional technology and how you introduced me by phone to Paul Wagner, the 30-year-old wunderkind who led Rollins for several years.

g)  Languages:  In short, the after-school program will have a lot of your guidance in the program.  I’m going to insist that kids try to speak some French and some Spanish, so that they get a sense of the beauty of words in English (and so they can see WHY beauty is spelled so crazily)…


So, wish me luck when I pitch this "after school academy" to some local schools.

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