ERC Co-Founder Dr. Larry Myatt and ERC Consulting Practitioner Katrina Kennett presented to a packed room at the recent 2012 Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in Providence. Their day-long seminar focused on the dramatic need for a “Copernican revolution” with roots in the classroom and at the systemic levels. Myatt, a former Thompson Fellow National Faculty member and CES consultant, opened the session with a panoramic view of the history of education policy, trends and issues over the past 15 years, concluding with the troubling perspectives of today’s students concerning formal schooling. Ms. Kennett then presented her rationale for the necessity of a student-centric approach and a vision of practice. Other components included an exercise to re-think current structures and systems that purport to flow from core values but produce poor results, an “Ed Café” where attendees got to re-think the role of teacher, where and when learning can take place, and the nature of curriculum, design aspects of the new Albuquerque Leadership High School network, and a demonstration of the potential of classroom technology to provide crucial access and linkage in the re-designed school.
Helping to make the session special was the day-long presence of Deborah Meier, founder of two CES schools, CES Board member, well-known author and progressive education advocate, and that Kristina Lamour-Sansone, Chair of the Design Department at the Art Institute of Boston/Lesley University and noted proponent of mobilizing and connecting graphic design expertise with innate cognitive function to assist classroom educators.