An open Invitation
Dear Teachers, Parents; Students; School Administrators; Private, Public and Social Sector Officials; and others in the community,
Can you imagine summer and after-school programs being the fruit of the labor of classroom teachers and college education majors who participate in and are supported by a collaborative community of innovation - formed by all kinds of individuals and institutions from public, private and social sectors - who come together, in mind and heart, to help organize the education process and infrastructure that fits today’s market realities?
Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of teachers being able to share their own stories and hear those of students, parents, schools administrators, policy makers and others in the community about their education experiences and perspectives?
Can you imagine the teachers combining their own experience with other shared information and using this as a base to develop multidisciplinary educational tools that meet and engage the minds and hearts of their students in a realistic and relevant manner?
Can you imagine policy makers and all sorts of other professionals in the private, public and social sectors feeling motivated to put their practices, experiences and their institutions’ infrastructures in alignment with the field research findings that their community of innovation invites? And, in the process of doing so, can you imagine the unintended effect of adding a more profound meaning to their work?
Can you imagine existing education institutions and interest groups being fueled by the innovation that this approach delivers and adapting changes accordingly to their operations and practices?
Oh - What a movement this would be!
Imagine using summer and after school time to work in laboratory-like environments, with the most disadvantaged and other students in changing communities under the guidance of trained and engaged educators testing prospective multidisciplinary quality academic materials and strategies.
Imagine them transforming this mostly childcare time into powerful learning time connected with innovative school academic work.
Imagine teachers and college students being compensated as they train and address real education needs instead of working in unrelated jobs to make ends meet.
Imagine youth juvenile delinquency and early pregnancy rates diminishing with the accompanying rise in social benefits and financial savings.
Imagine teachers going back to their regular school classroom equipped with a renewed sense of trust and confidence in themselves, their superiors, their students and the community outside the school.
Imagine them equipped with new and tested classroom tools and strategies.
Imagine them annually sharing their results and best practices to others in the sector.
Imagine researchers being able to have at hand a real and sustainable environment from which to derive fresh knowledge and help determine the trends in the evolution of education.
Imagine private corporate officials, besides feeling helpful by putting their communications and management technologies to service the education process, being able to profit from getting knowledge workers with the attitudinal skills the global market demands.
Today it is clear that the major challenges humanity faces are not solvable by any particular sector or interest group, and this is even truer in education. Quality education is the responsibility of everyone in a community. With teachers at the heart of it, communities of innovation are a way to create, support and maintain a fresh approach to the ever changing field of education.