One in four educators participating in a recent survey said their schools are “very traditional,” and findings indicate that these traditional approaches could be holding students and teachers back from more innovative experiences.

The Schools of Hope survey, from learning experience design firm MeTEOR Education, queried more than 7,000 educators.

Twenty-nine percent of surveyed educators indicated their schools are just beginning to integrate project-based, real-world learning approaches.

Seventy-five percent of surveyed teachers reported a dedicated effort to move towards a more relationship-based, student-centered approach. Actual progress lags behind, however. Fewer than 40 percent of educators reported substantial efforts toward more flexible, project- and collaborative-based learning approaches that engage and empower students.

The K-12 Mindshift cohort has just released a new book that takes aim at some of these specific challenges. Co-authors Rex Miller, Bill Latham, and Brian Cahill worked with a team of more than 60 career educators, a wide variety of specialists, NFP organizations, and business community leaders that led to Humanizing the Education Machine: How to Create Schools That Turn Disengaged Kids Into Inspired Learners.

According to Latham, “if the schools profiled in Humanizing the Education Machine taught us anything, we know that visionary leadership is both possible and effective. The principal’s leadership is critical for unlocking the creative expertise of the classroom teacher.”

(Next page: The need for modern classrooms in a demanding economy)


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