Learning is far more complicated than once thought but also far simpler than commonly presumes. The complications arise because leaning involves more than just school, curriculum, and test results. It is, rather, the result of the complex interplay between the child's body, diet, family life, security, neighborhood, teachers, schools, peers, access to information, and a great deal more. But learning is also simpler than educators armed with the latest curricular materials and quantitative studies sometimes resume. Children will always learn. They learn early on by play. They learn on the streets and in classrooms, they learn from peers and from teachers. They learn from television and Internet and from books. Sometimes they learn things we wish they had not learned. They learn to compete or cooperate, fear or trust, join or isolate, but they will learn - it's in their genes. (David W. Orr)
The child starting kindergarten this fall will graduate in the third decade of the 21st century. All we can know about the world she will step into is that it will have challenges and opportunities beyond what we can imagine today, problems and possibilities that will demand creativity and ingenuity, responsibility and compassion. Whether this year's kindergarten student will merely survive or positively thrive in the decades to come depends in large measure on the experiences she has in school. Those experiences will be shaped by adults, by peers, and ultimately by places, by the physical environments where she does her learning. United in the conviction that environment is our children's third teacher, we can begin anew a vital mission: designing today's schools for tomorrow's world.
"And when they look around and see that no one has lifted a finger to fix their school since the 19th century; when they are pushed out the door at the sound of the last bell... is it any wonder they don't think their education is important?" (Barack Obama)
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child." (George Bernard Shaw)
"What should schools look like when information is loose and available everywhere in ways that are personally relevant and streamlined to individual students?" (Renate Nummela Caine and Geoffrey Caine)
A study has shown that after installing an electromagnetic air cleaner in classrooms, absenteeism dropped from 8.3% to 3.7%. After the air purifier was removed the rate jumped up to 7.9%
One-third of German children between the ages of seven and 17 report getting headaches at school.
"Our education system looks a lot like the U.S. auto industry in the 1970s, stuck in a flabby, inefficient, outdated production model." (Michael Bloomberg)
Five percent of elementary school students in Canada report being bullied 10 or more times a month.