Monday, November 9, 2015

A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school

Ted Dintersmith wants to re-imagine North American education.
They had stellar resumes, early career success (often in consulting, investment banking, or corporate America), and were driven to succeed. Yet such patently qualified people often proved hopeless in the world of innovation, and I couldn’t quite figure out why.
He's very excited about a "new" approach.
[The Future Project]’s strategy centers on a far more fundamental “flip.” They start by helping students define projects or, in their vernacular, dreams. Motivated by an ambitious personal goal, students are motivated to learn the skills, content, and character traits required to complete their self-directed initiatives. The shift in student engagement is stunning. Given a reason to learn, students bring energy to classroom assignments, and commit “free” time (including coming in on snow days!) to improve their writing, public speaking, project management, collaboration, and math skills.
I suspect he's more wrong than right. I suspect he either overestimates the motivation and creativity of a classroom of students or underestimates the amount of material good students learn in a year. But as school critics go, he's interesting.

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