In his remarks at the opening general session, Pat used the analogy of the local bookstore to parallel the uncertainty in independent schools. In the 1990s and 2000s, many independent bookstores went out of business in the wake of big-box stores moving in, but recently big-box stores are shuttering due to the success of online retailers, such as amazon.com. Extrapolating this scenario onto the educational landscape, Pat identified independent schools as the local bookstores; they are small and intimate and know their customers well. He challenged the audience to think of how can we come together and innovate so as to avoid the same fate that befell the bookstores.
Pat then asked the audience to reflect on the following questions in conference sessions, in online communities, and then continue the conversations at schools upon returning. He created his own lists to which you can compare your ideas.
- What's on your list of 25 factors that great schools have in common?
- What's on your list of 25 factors that great teachers have in common?
As part of my spotlight on the different Schools of the Future Workshops, I reached out to the new National Network of Schools in Partnership on their vision of a School of the Future. Claire Leheney, the interim Executive Director, was generous enough to describe her vision for me:
The schools of the future are engaging students in the world, not just preparing them for it. There are many examples of this happening already, but the schools of the future will get this right on a greater scale with more impact.
That is an answer that I have never heard before: scalability! I'm looking forward to the launch of this partnership and the synergy that will be created between independent schools a