Ken Gordon at PEJE suggested on Twitter that those of us interested in "changing education paradigms" (thank you, Sir Ken Robinson) read The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices by Frank Moss, the former director of the MIT Media Lab, which is what RealSchool wants to be when it grows up.
|The MIT Media Lab|
- Chapter 1 is about the creative freedom researchers have at the lab, which allows them to "invent according to their passions and curiosities, in an environment where the only real rule is that there are no rules, and where there is no such thing as failure."
- Chapter 2 describes the anti-disciplinary nature of the work that takes place in the lab, where people from many different disciplines can cross-pollinate with each other and arrive at innovative solutions to problems that have been addressed in more narrow ways.
- Chapter 3 is one of RealSchool's favorites, describing the hard fun researchers enjoy in the lab because they are encouraged to "express their most fanciful ideas by building them and then seeing what happens when people use them"
- Chapter 4 is about serendipity by design, or what happens as a result of the fact that the lab encourages "accidental" encounters among students and teachers that enrich and improve the projects the different teams are working on (xiii-xiv). This philosophy of design by chance is described well in Steven Johnson's book Where Good Ideas Come From. We showed the following clip narrated by Johnson at RealSchool's first meeting this year:
Now that you're acquainted with some of the Media Lab's values, here's RealSchool's mission, which was hashed out by the RealSchool members of 2011-12 and Mrs. Tikvah Wiener, RealSchool's founder and director. Of course, RealSchool is not only a group of clubs, as we describe it below; it's also as an educational philosophy that can be used to form an academic program as well. In fact, baby RealSchool is going to be a toddler next year, because it's going to be offered as an elective at The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ.
RealSchool's Mission Statement (see our website for more information about the program):
Stay tuned for more sound bytes from Frank Moss' book!
Moss, Frank. The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices. New York: Crown Business, 2011. Print. (Yes, people still read books!)