Imagine a New Educational Paradigm

Imagine a laboratory school for innovation where students are developed into: 

1. Empowered Individuals: Purposeful inquirers, confidently unique with a deep understanding of their own singularity within their communities.

2. Active citizens: Informed decision makers, committed to participation as agents in a deliberative democracy.

3. Ingenious Contributors: Resourceful problem-solvers and forward-thinking designers who offer differentiated products or services to others to nurture a free and fair economy. 

By structuring a school where:

There are no classes, at least not in the way we think of them, where students are engaged in collaborative, interdisciplinary projects about real world issues, as well as learning skills as apprentices in workshops with master teachers.

There are no classrooms, where learning happens indoors and outdoors in a variety of spaces, such as a garden, an atelier, a library or a wooded area.

Students make choices about what to learn, who to work with, where to work and how to organize their work over time with the support of caring mentors.

A whole school community is engaged in a research and design process about a common theme, with different groups of students investigating problems deeply and broadly and creating innovative solutions to them.

Students teach one another and the whole school community by sharing their research and design projects to deal with 21st century problems.

Students deeply deliberate hard questions within a supportive community of co-learners in Socratic style roundtable discussions and the whole school community participates in democratic decision making. 

Teachers are project advisors, workshop master teachers, references in their areas of expertise and caring mentors.

Macro-disciplines: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math), Humanities & Social Sciences, Arts & Languages and Wellness are interconnected to each other and to real world learning and there are multi-year macro-objectives to guide students’ learning.

Wellness is a macro-discipline in which students learn how to live a healthy life physically, mentally and spiritually.  

The students are co-responsible for the school community, helping to keep the school tidy, plan and prepare meals and take care of one another generally. 

The community is diverse and all children and families are welcome. 

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To transform education in order to move humanity forward to face the challenges of the 21st century, increasingly globalized world in a collaborative, creative, critical, connected and caring way.

The founder and primary contributor to Education for Contemporary Times is Sarah O. Weiler, long-time educator with a M.A. in Global Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK.
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