On Thursday, at a seminar to advance an initiative to develop “Learning Campuses” in Saint Paul, several speakers offered comments which stimulated my thinking:
Patrick Bryan, Principal at Jackson Magnet: “Educational success is not just academics. It is academics plus resilience, the ability to set goals, self-confidence, curiosity, a sense of meaning …” He suggested the motto: “Every kid, every day, after school.”
Mary Kay Boyd, Board member of St. Paul Children’s Collaborative and long-time educator: “Systems don’t always understand what’s happening at the ground level – for example, they don’t always understand all the things that families do to educate their children…We can’t just transplant models that worked somewhere else and expect them to work in Saint Paul. We’ve got to create what works for Saint Paul.”
Kathy Lentz, Greater Twin Cities United Way: “Learning is a continuum. It starts prenatally. It includes reading by grade 3, good out-of-school activities, academic and involvement activities. We have to align and integrate all that we do for all of children’s lives.”
Nan Skelton: “We really need to plan for 2020, not for what we see today. It’s important to understand all the trends, not just those we associate with education.”
John Mueller, St. Paul Federation of Teachers: "This spring, at our conference, there will be many opportunities in the program for teachers and community partners to dialogue."
Clearly, more people recognize that learning occurs over time; it involves a combination of formal and informal experiences. All of us are both learners and educators. It will be exciting to see what develops.