Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Dec 17 2018

“Teaching Children Regardless of Grade,” by Alia Dharssi, in the New York Times

“After working to improve education for three decades, Ms. Anumula and Mr. Rao are committed to continuing the trial and error process. They’re driven by a singular goal. ‘Let children really enjoy childhood,’ Mr. Rao said.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

H/T to John Gulla, Executive Director of the EE Ford Foundation, for sharing this on Twitter.

We hold many assumptions about what school is supposed to look like. In places where necessity is the mother of invention, innovative models can bring us back to a fundamental question:

What is school for?

If the answer doesn’t include children enjoying their childhood, something is wrong.

Is learning joyful at your school?


A second H/T to John Gulla for tweeting out this article, too:

“Will Half Of All Colleges Really Close In The Next Decade?” by Michael Horn, in Forbes

According to a 2016 report by Parthenon-EY titled ‘Strength in numbers,’ 77% of colleges and universities—or 738 institutions—with fewer than 1,000 students exhibited at least three risk factors, such as a high discount rate, being dependent on tuition for more than 85 percent of revenue, or having an endowment that covers less than a third of expenses, that placed its survival in question.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

In his tweet, John Gulla noted that these risk factors are similar for independent schools, whose tuitions rival and sometimes exceed those of colleges and universities. Even more problematically, independent schools tend to rely on tuition for 80-90% of revenue.

Of note: the author of the article, Michael Horn, a trustee for the National Association of Independent Schools, replied to John’s tweet saying that he agrees: “very similar dynamics at play.”


”What Should a Competency-Based School Culture Look Like?” by Eric Hudson, on the Global Online Academy blog

“As Mike Crowley of the International School of Brussels argues in this excellent post on school culture, ‘We are responsible for the cultures that we create.’ At the center of competency-based learning is the belief that learning should be a meaningful, joyful experience for all students. How might our school cultures instill and nurture that belief in our communities?”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Shifting from grades to competency-based learning is not merely a matter of technical change.

More importantly, school leaders must facilitate cultural change to support their vision for extraordinary learning.


Question of the week:



Thank you for reading this post from Basecamp's blog, Ed:Future. Do you know someone who would find the Ed:Future blog worthwhile reading? Please let them know that they can subscribe here.

Christian Talbot