A Vision for Learning Designed by Youth for Youth: Notice. Dream. Connect. Do. Be.

The basics as defined by school is a very limited and restrictive set of skills. The word basic is often referred to as essential. Essential translates to absolutely necessary or extremely important. This mindset calls our publicly prescribed school basics into question. If we see something as basic it should by its nature show up as we live…no?

We have a vision for an approach to learning that eradicates the standardization perpetuated in public education. The “we” is youth from the innovation lab in Thompson School District in Loveland, CO, who have just finished year two of a four-year mission to reimagine school. It’s a model for self-directed learning. It’s a vision built around these particular words: notice, dream, connect, do, be.

It’s a vision rooted in the reality that we now have means (connections to people and information and spaces that we’ve never before been afforded, via the web), and the acknowledgement that we have means, to move beyond a fixed content. ie: Information was doubling every two years in 2006; it was doubling every three days in 2010.

By finding creative ways to share or expose your tacit knowledge, your thought process, your code, what you are actually doing, you open yourself up to learning, and you leave trinkets of adjacent possibilities. You help create a very robust community of learning.

From our experience over the last few years, we believe that, no matter what subject, topic, or project, a learner chooses to spend time on, the process of learning is strengthened. Learning becomes second nature. A self-directed learner is a life-long learner, someone who knows what to do when they don’t know what to do. With that empowerment, people owning their own learning, we believe education will be the vehicle to social change.

The words are not magical: notice, dream, connect, do, be, but they have been diligently sought after and crafted in order to capture a natural process of learning if the learner is provided mental and physical spaces of permission. The videos below seem to be resonating with people.






Banner image credit: Redefine School – Save the World http://redefineschool.tumblr.com/