The last session was presented by Penn State Professor Kyle Peck (who is also the Director of the newly created Mid Atlantic Research for Educational and Learning lab - MAREL). He described his vision for the process that needs to occur for redesigning education from a systems perspective. Very interesting stuff. He's just getting started, but getting MAREL was a big piece, and he's also working with the Heinz Endowment. I look forward to seeing more of what they develop - their website is just getting started. He refers to this time in education as "Renaissance Version 2.0," which I think is a nice complement to the "Web 2.0" idea.
Among other things, there was one phrase he mentioned that really hit home for me. He said something like "we're not going to get there with 6 period days." I've been thinking about this a lot in terms of Arapahoe. While all the discussions we're having and the changes we're making are well and good, I just wonder at some point if we come up against the entrenched "system" and hit a brick wall. I'm wondering if at some point you really do have to "reinvent the wheel" to develop an educational system that will meet the needs of our students in the 21st century. I've talked briefly before in our sessions about whether small steps can get us there, or whether at some point we'll need to take giant leaps. I'm usually a small steps kind of guy, but I'm starting to think that - at some point - a giant leap might be necessary.