Rethinking What Learning Can and Should Look Like: An Innovator’s Workshop

Rethinking What Learning Can and Should Look Like: An Innovator’s Workshop

We all want our students to be engaged in authentic and meaningful learning that prepares them for the real world. However, learning often takes place in contexts with inflexible schedules, fixed rosters, and discrete subjects.

But why do all students have to attend the same amount of class time each year, even though we know students learn at different paces? Why don’t we give students more voice and choice in how they spend their school days? What if we were more flexible in our use of time and student groupings? Since we know real-world problems are so interconnected, why don’t we take a more interdisciplinary approach in our schools?

In this session for innovators, ideators, and futuristic thinkers, we will consider all of these questions and more. Examples of innovation at the middle and high school levels that demonstrate different approaches to personalized learning will be presented to create a jumping off point for further ideation. Participants will explore ways in which they might be able to push the envelope and increase innovation within their unique contexts.

Session Audience:

Elementary, Middle school, High school, Curriculum leaders, School leaders, Whole school / anyone

Session Goals:

  • Explore and ideate around ways to implement various instructional innovations, including
    • Personalized, project-based, and experiential learning
    • Interdisciplinary approaches 
    • Flexible schedules
  • Identify the opportunities for, and barriers and bridges to, instructional innovations within one’s context

Session Outcomes:

Participants will generate an innovation action plan that will set in motion more instructional innovations in their classrooms and schools.

Presenter Bio:

Kris is an innovative educator who believes that kids achieve more and have more fun when they have more control over their learning. He has previously taught math, reading, and writing at the middle school level at public and charter schools in the US and Singapore. Currently, he is an advisor in Quest at Singapore American School. Quest is an innovative year-long program for 11th and 12th grade students that personalizes learning through interdisciplinary units in a flexible schedule.He is also completing his Doctor of Education at the University of Southern California, where his dissertation is on the long-term effects of project- and work-based learning. 

In his spare time, Kris  enjoys cooking, exploring  Singapore and the region, scuba diving, and skiing. His passion project on the side is maintaining @teachingpoints, an Instagram account dedicated to food and travel.