In the paper, Education|Evolving co-founder Kolderie asserts:
The system reforms taking place—including institutional innovations like chartering laws and open enrollment—make improvement increasingly necessary; make change increasingly possible. But they are only half the strategy. To meet its goals this country must next undertake a serious effort to develop new forms of school and schooling. It is time to redirect K-12 policy toward innovation.
So what did these students think of the assertions in “The Other Half?” Did they see real innovations in their high schools? If their experiences were unusual, what difference did it make as they went on to college?
Note the pattern in their responses and how often motivation shows up as a factor related to their learning. In their own words they explain:
How an innovative atmosphere created “space,” opportunity to take a different path;
How they built more self-confidence;
How self-direction bred a “can-do” attitude;
How their perspectives widened even as they started with their own interests and talents;
How working at their own pace didn’t render them “slow,” but boosted their confidence;
How they learned to build supportive relationships; and
How knowing how to adapt to new technologies influenced their college success.
Sophomore International Studies Major at University of California San Diego
“New advances in technology, pop culture and the global community as a whole are making kids learn how to make better decisions in a quick-paced environment… The ones who know how to adapt the quickest gain an edge.”
“It is hard to capture the attention and interest of the youth of today, especially with what has become the standard method of teaching. Today’s students need so much more motivation to learn. Getting students involved with hands on experience in their field is very pivotal.”
“When we started the school year we knew what we had to accomplish before we could move out of that level. We as students found this type of teaching and learning style to be motivating. When students are allowed to learn at their own pace they feel empowered and find a love of learning.”