Dear GCE Family and Friends:
We begin our journey into 2012 with a clear mission and vision. We are fortunate to have shown positive results from the first few years in our laboratory — GCE Chicago High School. The data suggests that we are in fact creating a new model for learning, that the Global Citizenship Experience has tremendous potential to contribute uniquely to the educational revolution underfoot. Our students feel excited to learn — they even want to come to school! — and they produce an array of incredibly cool work that can be viewed on GCE Voices (our blog). Parents shower our staff with gratitude and compliments; we know better than to expect such interactions but it certainly feels validating.
Our approach reflects both the trends of the moment and it balances proven pedagogies of the past. We embody something of a KhanDeweyan spirit, sticking to principles of progressive education that fuel interpersonal connection and experiential learning while adopting current technologies that “disrupt” our largely broken educational system.
That’s a complicated way of writing what we really do: integrate myriad perspectives in order to create global, purpose-driven curriculum that is delivered through blended learning. Whenever possible, and it often is, we individualize instruction to optimize each student’s interests and potential. Punctuated by GCE’s City2Classroom partnerships, our classroom extends into boardrooms, factories, restaurants, museums, and the streets that connect us. In 2012, GCE students may find their classmates sitting next to them, in a classroom across the country, or in a café around the world.
Now, is an extraordinary time to work in the field of education. Technologies expand our pathways of interconnection and the resources that inspire our community. Possibilities emerge daily for how we can improve learning and teaching. And, most importantly, there is a genuine urgency to offer a better alternative for large-scale curriculum, instruction, administrative processes, and network development. Youth need to feel that learning matters; specifically, that what they learn in school is of value. And we adults — whether we work in corporations, ngos, government agencies, or entrepreneurial ventures — we have the chance to create a bridge to the next generation that offers youth a future in which they matter. In so doing, we ensure our own sustainability. Failure to do so will result in a tidal wave of ignorant and disenfranchised masses; this we’re already doing at an alarming rate (hence the urgency).
GCE’s priorities for the next twelve months are clear, but not simple:
- Refine our Model for Learning in our Laboratory — GCE Chicago HS and GCE Summer Immersion
- Engage and enroll families, corporate sponsors, and City2Classroom partners
- Build our pipeline of school networks and districts so that we can appropriately develop and deliver modules for training educators — locally, nationally, and globally — so that thousands of learners can share in the Global Citizenship Experience.
Thank you for making 2011 a year of learning and growth. We ask nothing more of 2012. Best wishes to our friends, supporters, and those we have not yet had the privilege of getting to know.