The 5 most important terms for transforming schools

Student-centered learning, collaboration, and more may be the keys to transforming schools

transform-schoolsIt is not terribly difficult to get people to agree on the need for school transformation. The expression of this need comes not only from the “usual suspects,” i.e. politicians and academics, but also from teachers, administrators, and parents. Yet, despite this agreement the specific nature of what the transformed school should look like is harder to pin down.

The agenda for school transformative change reveals five critical terms. Each of these terms have been used when talking about teaching and learning in schools for decades. That’s the problem!

It may seem that school transformation simply means doing what we have always tried to do but better. But school transformation is actually about establishing a new vision of schooling.

What those five terms mean to those who are serious proponents of major school transformation is quite different from how they have traditionally been used in conversations about schools. Our challenge is to get beyond just using the right words to implementing the right practices. This requires us to sort out the somewhat more technical use of the five terms from the common usage of them.

Next page: Student centered learning, collaboration, and other terms


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