Author: Amy Satterthwaite (School from Scratch, @4sightteacher)

The Future Cultures of Public Schools

Yesterday Statistics Canada released a report on the impact of studying in public versus private high schools on students’ academic success, titled “Why Are Academic Prospects Higher for Private High School Students?”  There are many possible implications for this report (despite it not acknowledging many other cultural factors beyond socioeconomic status, location, and religious affiliation), one of which I’d like…

The Value of Future Scenarios in Classrooms

When speaking recently at about some of the benefits of futures thinking in education, I went a little off-script and shared an anecdote. I was really nervous, but in hindsight the brief divergence from the written plan may have resonated more deeply than anything else I’d prepared. I’m reprising it below, with some further reflections. A friend and I were…

Wickedness and Fuzzy Front Ends: ‘Solving’ Public Education

Let’s talk about solving problems! Yessss! <fist pump!> Scratch that – reverse it. Instead, let’s talk about solving Wicked Problems. “Wicked problems are difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create…

Guest Post: The Best School is Camp

When I began this blog a year ago – just prior to beginning my Master of Design program at OCAD University – I mentioned wanting to share musings on the transformation of education written by others*. Shortly after that initial post, I received an incredibly thoughtful email from Catherine Cassidy**, a long-time friend whom I deeply admire. While not a professional…

Looking Back on the Futures of Education

As most students and teachers wrap up the school year, I’m at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina jumping both-feet-in to a short-term teaching gig.  Duke TIP Field Studies is an enrichment program designed to offer extended learning opportunities to (hopefully) deeply engage nerdy kids. My amazing thesis advisor, Suzanne Stein, is a long-time TIP instructor (unable to make it…

Dress Codes and/or the Elephant in the Room

Back in the day, children’s schools were set up as part of the industrial machine. Like ‘learning factories’, they were designed to pick up, mold, and spit out complacent, competent workers.  The ‘empty vessel’ concept – where kids’ minds were seen as containers waiting to be filled with ‘Knowledge’ – was key in justifying this particular model of education. Of…