We had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ilkka Kurkela from the University of Helsinki (HI) back in March at the Global Teacher Prize event in Dubai. The University of Helsinki is amongst the 20 best universities in Europe and within the top 100 universities in the world. Ilkka is the head of Customized Education Programs of HI+ which focuses on continuing education. We reached out to him for this interview after reading in the news about the ground-breaking training the University is providing to the country of Saudi Arabia tooling it’s local teachers with Methodologies and skillsets from the very best educators of Finland. Finland is continuously ranked as having one of the best [...]
Very few people know the history of school. Nor do they know the real reason schools were established in the first place. Here’s a short history of schools in the U.S. from the documentary Class Dismissed ClassDismissedMovie.com. Features interviews of John Taylor Gatto, Laurie A. Couture and discusses Horace Mann and Johann Fichte’s influence on today’s public school system and how the Prussian model of education & military findings were instrumental to the origins of school.
In February 2013, Logan LaPlante delivered a TedX talk that changed his world. Just 13 years old at the time, Logan’s speech, “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy,” explored his homeschooling experience, focusing on the importance of happiness during the learning process. For the uninitiated, hackschooling—a term Logan coined because he didn’t like the reactions he got when he told people he was homeschooled—is a dynamic student-centric learning mindset. “I don’t use any one particular curriculum, and I’m not dedicated to any one particular approach. I hack my education,” Logan says in the talk. It was just a school project that Logan thought might get 1,000 views tops—and he dressed [...]
When you view everything, not just your physical space, but the people you talk to, the information you consume, the clothes you wear, and the food you eat as environments, you develop both a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity to the impact of those environments. You become ruthless about upgrading the quality of those environments. Remember, if your environment is not growing and evolving as you grow and evolve, you will be living in a state of drag (low energy, resistance, slow movement) rather than in a state of inspiration. By designing your environments so that they are a constant source of inspiration, you will find your daily habits, actions and goals are much easier [...]
The challenge of designing curricula to prepare students for an unpredictable future is compounded by the even-greater challenge of evaluating their readiness for it. Added to this is the fact that we really do not know what it means when we say we are preparing students 21st century skills ready. We have no idea what skills we will need 5 years from now so trying to predict the skills need for the entire 21st century (January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 2100) is not possible. Yet we must recognize the educational shifts highlighting the importance of 21st century skills, the ones we know today that are needed, as a mean in assessment design. Education policy makers [...]
Throughout the GCC, an increasing number of parents are opting for a home-schooling education model for their children. The reasons behind such a far-reaching decision are: the low teacher-to-student ratio appealing for students with learning difficulties special needs gifted students traveling/adventurer families parents finding traditional curricula too rigid in its academic skills-focused approach, timing flexibilities for young professional athletes/entertainers etc. the freedom for children to explore and develop life skills at their own pace the increasing “brick and mortar” school fees The claim by parents that current traditional curricula is not for every child for [...]