Next week, the movie “Waiting for Superman” will be released to much fanfare and media attention. Made by the director of “An Inconvenient Truth,” this documentary is a call-to-action for everyone in the education community to start instituting major reform within what’s known as the broken public education system.
I haven’t yet seen the film, but plan to at the first opportunity. In the meantime, here are some points of entry:
– Time Magazine‘s feature “What Makes a School Great,” puts the documentary in perspective with interviews with the director Davis Guggenheim.
– Monday’s “Oprah” will be dedicated to the film, and will feature Guggenheim, Michelle Rhee and Bill Gates as guests.
– A short interview with Guggenheim on NBC’s Education Nation, a website with headlines and resources, and also a summit that I’ll be attending later this month.
In regards to the subject of education reform, I think Milton Chen offers a logical perspective in his post on Edutopia:
I believe many students are bored and unmotivated because of the way they are being taught, with heavy reliance on reading textbooks, memorizing facts and figures, and listening to lectures, over and over.
This is the traditional world of black-and-white learning from the 1950s that persists today, literally, black text on white pages or white chalk on blackboards. It’s how I went to school. Technology in its many forms is showing how teaching and learning can paint with a much broader palette of colors, from images and music to games, simulations, wikis, and many others, any time, any place, on laptops, desktops, and smartphones.
Today’s students find this new world of digital learning to be very motivating.