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Expert Q & A | Stacey Caillier and Rob Riordan

Expert Q&A: Stacey Caillier and Rob Riordan

Q: How can schools support teachers so they can keep abreast of the latest teaching techniques?

A: It's less about techniques and more about creating a culture of collaboration where teachers can pursue their passions, share their plans and dilemmas, get into each other's classrooms and reflect on teaching and learning together. At High Tech High, for example, teachers come to school each day an hour before the students arrive, where they engage in structured conversations about student work, teacher plans and shared purpose.

Q: What skills will be necessary for today's students to learn for when they graduate?

A: In the "real" worlds of work today, and in the social worlds through which our youth move, content is fluid and evolving. It is the skills and dispositions that enable people to access, evaluate, synthesize, transform and create content that are prized. And it is the responsibility of our schools to build communities of learners who are engaged with content in these ways.

Q: What is being overlooked as education changes?

A: Education has changed very little over the last century. What is being overlooked is what Dewey observed at the beginning of the previous century: the importance of linking education to the lived experiences of students and the world beyond school.

Q: What is the biggest change in education that is still to come?

A: Perhaps we can learn something from online communities, which, as James Gee points out, are age diverse and driven by passionate interest. Where are children learning now the skills that they need to function successfully in the emerging world? Online, in the street, but much more rarely in schools, where resources and respect are so unevenly distributed.

—Stacey Caillier & Rob Riordan
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