UPDATE $1000 Contest Due 12/5
Calling everyone who's tired of our one-size-fits-all factory-like education system: How will (or has) YOUR local school district move(d) to embody the principles of creativity and adaptability mapped out by Sir Ken Robinson? Describe in 2042 words how you plan to change or have changed education paradigms in your district (or ideally a combination of both).
Policy shifts like the new Common Core State Standards, California Governor Jerry Brown's local control funding formula, and the new California Collaborative for Educational Excellence make local school districts dramatically more autonomous. Such changes provide a golden opportunity to transform education’s much derided, one-size-fits-all factory model into something that is quite frankly, more human.
We want to know how school districts will take advantage of the new found flexibility in order to build a more fertile educational ecosystem that embodies Sir Ken's principles of creativity and adaptability. This challenge is hunting for both prospective plans with strategies for change and retrospective case studies documenting change in Sir Ken's direction. We imagine the strongest submissions will likely be a combination of the two.
Key questions to consider in your plan include: what is the current reality of your school district? Please include both qualitative observations (ideally firsthand) and quantitative metrics (demographics, student achievement, etc.) in your description. What is your vision for youth as they matriculate through and then graduate from your district? What educational structures (class schedules, community involvement, curriculum, testing) would you change and how would that enable the learning environment to move from today's reality to that vision? What policies (if any) at a state or federal level prevent those changes?
Submissions will be judged on their pioneering spirit, applicability, and ability to really shift people's paradigms. Imagine you are writing for a superintendent or other education leader interested in Sir Ken’s ideas, but is unsure how to implement them. California has a golden opportunity to move in that direction, and we want to hear the best pragmatic, actionable ideas from around the world so that we might seize that moment.
Jane Patterson, Wesley Farrow, Miho Kuwagaw, Annie Chang, and Daniel Cheung
Our judges have a strong background working in the front lines of education and have a well documented record of implementing real change. Together, they garner a broad swath of experience as teachers, tutors, school and district management, nonprofit support leadership and as other pillars of the education community.
Reforming Education Reform from our Summer Stag Hunt
A Nation at Risk, the report that galvanized the education reform movement over three decades ago. “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician’s Lament -- a fascinating exploration of what constitutes mathematics and what passes for its instruction.
The winning plan, as determined by the Socratic Challenge Judges, will receive a $1000 prize. Stag Hunt reserves the right not to select a winner if their are insufficient or unqualified submissions. You will retain all ownership over any intellectual property associated with the plan. By submitting your plan in this contest, you will simply grant Stag Hunt Enterprises, Inc. the right to publish your submission.
In addition, by sharing both this challenge and your plan ideas you help support the movement to build a more fertile and humane education system. Note, since we are ironically-meta-game-theory-loving-nerd-jocks, the goal of changing education paradigms through collaboration among local practitioners is in itself a Stag Hunt.