Dan Berkowitz

Manager, Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), Los Angeles Philharmonic

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How will you help students find their voice?

Our education system is in an identity crisis - a cycle of educational-poverty in our schools. We have a responsibility to support our schools, to inspire our students and support their choices. We need to allow students to create their own identity - as individuals, classes, schools, and communities. This sets them free from other pressures.

How? Each community has relevant problems to solve and classrooms that could connect to solve them. What if you identified a community need and engaged a local classroom or school to solve it? What if you introduced a new game or resource to a classroom teacher?

The next generation of innovators is sitting in classrooms right now.

How will you help them find their voice?

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    Mar 26 2011: I am a fifth year ELA teacher. I've always been a promoter of "voice". Students MUST feel like they have a voice. How else can we expect them to take ownership of their own learning? Inquiry, goals and accomplishmens begin with voice. I'm also a fan of the IB programme. ( http://www.ibo.org/ ) . It offers students as well as teachers the challenge to meet the standards of the learner profile. ( http://www.ibo.org/programmes/slideh.cfm ) . We need to meet the growing demands of the world, technology and of course academia.
    Our particular campus strives to meet the needs of the IB student. Students are challenged to inquire, think, and reflect. Students are challenged to be principled (the key to self discipline as well as for collaboration). Lessons span beyond the classroom. Community projects are evaluated and chosen based on purpose, worthwhile contribution and effectiveness. Our hallways are plastered with projects, posters and quotes. Our hallways are always evolving - weekly. We see students congregating and discussing projects, as if in a museum. It is a beautiful and inspiring act to see. Students are strongly encouraged to be in the arts. We have a large music program. We have nice numbers in our band, choir and orchestra. Our art classes are amazing - the fruit of their labor is always on display or announced.
    Yes, you are correct. Each community has its own issues. Students need to identify, evaluate and help solve. Many adults underestimate the ability, creativity and potential innovations of a child. We need to continue to support their growth while evolving with our ever changing planet. I encourage you to also watch - http://www.ted.com/talks/kiran_bir_sethi_teaches_kids_to_take_charge.html
    How will I help them find their voice? By braisnstorming with my students,debating issues,seeking answers,develop projects,promote research,opening their eyes to the various evolutions. Inspire! Defend! Support!Best wishes on your endeavors, Marisa
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    Mar 23 2011: If you haven't, see the Independent Project. That endeavor dovetails nicely with Salman Khan's peer-to-peer education tool.

    http://democraticeducation.org/index.php/library/resource/the_independent_project/
  • Mar 22 2011: you can organize such a forum by inviting people you know who work in an environment different from yours so your students can meet them