Anti-Establishment

1

March 12, 2011 by jbrettjacobsen

Recently, I attended the National Association of Independent Schools annual conference in Washington, DC.  It was confirmation to me that the discussions taking place at Mount Vernon reflected every general session and workshop I attended.  Whether it was leading through change, global education, 21st century skills, reverse instruction, CWRA, service programs, or skills over content, MVPS is right on target as we proceed through our next strategic planning process.  Also, the conference was reaffirming to me in the midst of changes taking place in the global marketplace.  Mount Vernon has the ability to pivot and we are more agile to adapt to the changes necessary to prepare and position students for college, career, citizenship, and calling.  In one workshop, one educator from a leading independent school said, “As independent schools, you know we are not known for innovation.”  I think this is true if one is known for being an “established” school.  So, I have been thinking a great deal about the word “established” since attending the conference.  Established can reflect tradition, proven, conventional, and accomplished.  In the 21st century, to what end?  Raising my young children in a world that is flat with an acceleration of technology, access to greater information, and in the current state of the economy, will an established form of education meet the needs of students (my children) today or tomorrow?  Actually, providing a more relevant and meaningful model is a higher standard because it requires one to take the accepted “cannon” of information and be creative with it, synthesize it, collaborate with it, frame the right questions, be ethical with it, and ultimately, apply it.  As David Perkins from Harvard suggests, “Smart Schools” adhere to seven key principles: 1) generative knowledge 2) learnable intelligence 3) focus on understanding 4) teaching for mastery and transfer 5) learning-centered assessments 6) embracing complexity and 7) the school as a learning organization.  In many ways, I believe NAIS is asking us to be “anti-establishment.”  The theme of the conference alone — Advancing Our Public Purpose — encourages schools to reflect and rethink.

The following information reflects some notes, quotes, wikis, presentation, articles and books referenced by speakers and colleagues during the conference:


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One thought on “Anti-Establishment

  1. […] Brett Jacobsen Anti-Establishment Recently, I attended the National Association of Independent Schools annual conference in Washington, DC.  It was confirmation to me that the discussions taking place at Mount Vernon reflected every general session and workshop I attended.  Whether it was leading through change, global education, 21st century skills, reverse instruction, CWRA, service programs, or skills over content, MVPS is right on target as we proceed through our next strategic planning process…[MORE] […]

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Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Atlanta, GA
bjacobsen@mountvernonschool.org
www.mountvernonschool.org

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