All of us went through school and some of us met with more success than others, but how many of us ever really understood the purpose of schooling? The purpose of schooling has changed since the first grammar school opened in America in 1635, but for the last 100+ years, since the founding of the Association of American Universities, there has been a clear focus in K-12 education on preparing students for college and career. We have been focused through testing and success measures on successfully moving students through K-12 to college and beyond. To do this, we adopted a somewhat factory-like model of education: Place similar age students in classrooms together with pre-determined content and competencies and expect them all to move through the learning pathway at the same time. As we now have overwhelming evidence that this model cannot work for all students, perhaps it is time to redefine our goal and our strategy. Join me for this conversation with Sam Chaltain in the direction we are heading and what it means for the preparation of our young people.
Sam Chaltain (@samchaltain) is a partner at WONDER, a global design studio that helps schools and communities reimagine the future of learning at the intersection of space, culture, and story. His work focuses on how individuals and organizations can find and tell stories that capture the emotional center of an idea; build and sustain an audience of supporters over time (as opposed to merely generating awareness); and leverage both traditional and new media in order to expand an ideological base of support.
Sam’s writings about his work have appeared in both magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Education Week and USA Today. A periodic contributor to CNN and Huffington Post, Sam is the author or co-author of six books. He is also a co-producer of the PBS documentary film, 180 Days: Hartsville; and the 10-part online film series, A Year at Mission Hill.
Sam has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the College of William & Mary, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University, where he specialized in non-profit management and organizational theory. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he graduated with a double major in Afro-American Studies and History.