Innovation! And with labs




Coming to a school near you, and before you know it. You’ve been warned, Burbank.

This is as sick as sick can be. The business technocrats are successfully spreading their materialist goal-oriented, anti-Humanist poison:

Across the country, public district, charter, and independent schools are transforming classrooms and libraries into innovation labs, makerspaces, and learning commons.

In the past few years Shattuck-St. Mary’s School (MN) opened the weCREATE Center. The Ross School (NY) and the Nueva School (CA) opened Innovation Labs. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (GA) launched the I. Design Lab.

Newton Public Schools ( MA) and Da Vinci High School (CA) launched Innovation Labs, MC² STEM High School (OH) opened its FABLAB, Gunn High School’s (CA) Library launched The Idea Lab, and Albemarle County’s Monticello High School transformed its library into a Learning Commons.

Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) will open its first i.d.Lab in Spring 2015 for students to “Imagine, Invent, and Innovate”. The school plans i.d. Lab spaces across the campus in classrooms and even in dormitories in the next few years.

Many of these new learning environments draw inspiration from Design Thinking leaders like Harvard’s Project Zero, the Stanford d. school, and the Maker Movement. In 21st century schools, students become makers and learners, teachers become facilitators and activators, and classrooms become learning studios and learning commons.

Sounds like a great deal for lazy teachers. They can just sit back and watch the kids innovate.

Always watch out too for cool sounding words like “studios” and “commons.” It really means a top-down attempt to impose a particular templated orthodoxy on the kids, one that involves forcing them to work together and “collaborate.”

And apparently most of the time.

Schools supporting 21st century learners realize that new pedagogies — project-based learning and active student use of technology and making tools – are what enables and activates these learners. Existing classrooms inhibit “makers” from “making” and learners from collaborating. New learning environments linking the new pedagogies and space are needed to support 21st century learners.

Designing 21st century schools and new learning environments starts with asking “What knowledge and skills do students need for the 21st century?” But real design needs to go much further and address the following questions as well:

What pedagogy, curricula, activities, and experiences foster 21st century learning?

What assessments for learning, both school-based and national, foster student learning of the outcomes, student engagement, and self-direction?

How can technology support the pedagogy, curricula, and assessments of a 21st century collaborative learning environment?

And lastly, what physical learning environments (classroom, school, and real world) foster 21st century student learning?

Because 21st-century learning is so different from that of the last two millennia! Everybody knows that.

Wow. Look at the economic interests who are behind such a product-oriented “transformation”:

P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (formerly the Partnership for 21st Century Skills) was founded in 2002 as a coalition bringing together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K-12 education and to kick-start a national conversation on the importance of 21st century skills for all students.

It’s all quite insidious. As well as expensive. Apparently too the idea of “21st-century skills” doesn’t involve a lot of working and thinking alone.

Talk about trying to enforce a very creepy kind of slick conformity and group-acceptance on the kids. That indeed is what this is all about, and it needs to be fought against mightily.

None of this has to do with creativity, learning, or innovation. Quite the opposite. Can you imagine Steve Jobs in a “Design Lab”?

He’d last about five minutes.


'You need to think outside the box.'





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