Lately Laurie Friedrich and I have been spending time thinking about preparing teachers to thrive in innovative schools. We spent a significant amount of time laying out the outline of a path that will lead us there. Our mission is to prepare educators who are effective and confident facilitating learning in innovative settings.
This goal emerged from our interaction with school leaders who have indicated to us a challenge in finding and retaining educators who can be effective teaching in innovative settings. We think that it it because traditional teacher education programs are not providing the skills and dispositions needed in innovative learning settings. The group we are proposing will lead to a program that will support innovative schools by providing teachers who can facilitate learning in a variety of settings using inquiry, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Our objective is to have a program to supplement traditional teacher education with the skills and dispositions that will create educators who can be consistently successful in innovative schools.
Being a full citizen in the 21st century requires life-long learning that fosters design thinking and innovation. This life-long learning is shaped during the school years. Innovative schools show how to grow this next generation of thinkers and creators, and lead the way for more traditional school systems. Our program aims to grow the educators that will be the backbone of transformation. These schools need the teachers who will make sure such schools are successful and can try new ideas. Our plan is to help these schools by preparing interested classroom and prospective teachers who can step in ready to teach in innovative ways.