Is taking a 'startup' approach to the classroom a key to success?
- Lomie Heard Elementary School (NV) 3rd-grade teacher Claire Cummings writes for EdSurge on how her experiences trying to get the startup Busker.fm off the ground improved her teaching, ultimately encouraging her to approach the classroom with a startup mentality.
- She offered her students flexible seating instead of rows of desks, did away with whole-group instruction in favor of a station rotation approach to blended learning, modified and tweaked lessons and materials regularly to better suit new and different groups of learners, and created more meaningful projects.
- Her current school is a "Marzano Academy," launched in September by Robert Marzano with a focus on STEAM, coding, personalized learning and a competency-based approach — an environment where her startup approach to instruction is right at home.
Changing workforce needs demand new and innovative approaches to education, and that starts with rethinking the method of delivery alongside the material itself. Today's students aren't likely to work in a uniform environment with rows of cubicles. The office of today is more likely to be an open setting encouraging collaboration and creativity, and these are skills commonly demanded by employers in recent years. As a result, it makes sense to acclimate students to such an environment today, just as rows of desks once did so for cubicles or even factory work — which is itself undergoing a disruption of its own due to advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics.
Likewise, professional learning opportunities for educators are undergoing a transformation to match that of student learning. It's been said so often that it's been run into the ground, but the days of "sit-and-get" are gone. Schools and districts must adapt their approaches across the board to meet the new demands of the 21st century if they are to innovate and succeed.
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