Steve Goldberg Posted over 4 years ago How can we empower kids to reshape the education system? *A TEDActive Education Project Question* I currently teach 9th grade world history and have taught for more than a decade. I believe we are at an exceptional moment in learning. In fact, I am leaving my job at the end of this school year to plan a middle school where students can take charge of their own learning. See http://trianglearning.org for details. As comments below reflect, though, students should not simply be left to their own devices. They need to be mentored. However, students should also be respected far more than the industrial-age school curricula currently respects students. We need a more constructivist model. But constructivist does not mean a lack of rigor. The idea for my school is to mentor students for 6th and 7th grade to give them skills and confidence so that they can direct their own learning in 8th grade to follow their passion and make a difference in the world. I teach at a high school where the annual tuition is nearly $20,000. I am shocked at how little my students follow the news (Egypt was simply not part of the curriculum, so we were not able to learn more about that topic in class -- I offered to teach interested students more about events in Egypt around the time Mubarak stepped down and 19 students showed up at 7 a.m. on a Friday -- we start school at 8). Following the news and taking the time to put current events in context will be a key part of the daily routine at my school. Students also need to appreciate that math is everywhere (economics, science, statistics, etc.) and need to learn as much math as possible. A great unit that I'd love to pursue for about a month (assuming students bought in that it was important to study) would be a look at the BP oil spill of one year ago. How big was that spill and what are the long-term environmental effects? If this concept sounds interesting, please contact me at MrGoldberg@gmail.com, and see http://trianglearning.org The school will open in August 2013 in North Carolina with 2 teachers and 20 sixth graders.