The first keynote for U-Learn 2016 was Larry Rosenstock - Larry is the C.E.O of the San Diego-based High Tech High. Although I have listened to him speak before and have watched the film ‘Most likely to Succeed’ I was excited at the opportunity to listen to him once again.
Larry presented his views on the educational paradigm shift and the move away from structured educational systems of the past.
A particularly poignant part of his talk for me was when he spoke of his earlier days in education and the way that students were grouped based on assumptions - ‘These people can do this and these people can do that. Manual workshop was prescribed to the boys and vocational studies to the girls and similar systems of organisation. Some of these systems, although, not so dramatic still exist in classrooms today.
My reflective question: Are we still selecting or grouping students for opportunities based on assumptions? - what factors do we use to justify these grouping?
He went on to talk about his desire to focus his attention on people that it was predicted wouldn’t be able to do something (achieve in an area or pursuit)
This being one of the drivers in creating High Tech High.
Larry also reaffirmed that ‘knowledge is socially constructed’ and displayed some wonderful examples of student projects.
- Challenge assumptions and provide opportunity to succeed
Later in the week we got the opportunity to be involved in a workshop with Larry. Exploring ‘memorable moments’ - This was another fantastic session.