Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Alternative High School - Engines for Education
Last night brought an online seminar with Roger Schank, he long of artificail intelligence and cognitive psychology fame.

One project he's working is Alternative High School, a school which truly shakes up the curriculum model. "The four years currently being offered are:
Year 1: Health Sciences
Year 2: Computer Science
Year 3: Communication
Year 4: Business
Yep, that's a different way of doing things.

Readers will probably be able to find a number of things wrong with this, not least that History is left out completely. Let's say that they remedy this by putting large doses of history and biography into the Communications and Health Sciences years, and even the Business section. Personally, I'd be thrilled to see students take a business-centric view of history for a change. Might save us an awful lot of grief.

We're left with exposure to Art, Music, Drama, etc. Does such a school allow for sports, clubs, all the things that socialize and encourage youth?

I'm not sure all of those are even the point. The point is looking at the curriculum from a whole new perspective. I wouldn't choose this one, as I think we already have too many web development people, and too few with rich, deep educations in the important aspects of democracy and higher culture. Yet I do like experimenting. Especially if you are 12 and already condemned to a loser school.

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