WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Lose the grades, lose the exams, and
don't worry if all the kids in a class are not the same age. That's
what a gathering of international education leaders is recommending in
a dramatic new learning roadmap released today.
The sweeping recommendations of the Equinox Summit: Learning 2030 (a product of the Waterloo Global Science Initiative) also propose
eliminating grades 9 through 12 in favour of groupings of students
based on ability and area of study.
"We assume 30 students in the same grade, one teacher and four walls is
ideal. But what would happen if we threw out that model?" says summit
participant Greg Butler, founder of Collaborative Impact and former
head of global education for Microsoft.
"The current model of grade levels and ages is flawed. We need to
progress students through high school, not by their ages, but by the stages they're at."
The Learning 2030 Communiqué contains summit participants' detailed recommendations on areas ranging
from the use of new technologies in the classroom and methods of
increasing student engagement, to teacher training and benefits of
local school autonomy.
"Ideas like this are already successfully happening in innovative
individual schools around the world," says summit participant Jennifer
Groff, a graduate researcher at MIT and vice president of learning &
program development with the Learning Games Network. "We've tinkered
and tweaked for decades and we have the same system. If you want
different outcomes, you have to rethink of all the parts of the system
and redesign them together."
Learning 2030's 33 summit participants represent nearly a dozen countries, including the UK, Australia,
Singapore, Finland, Qatar, several African nations, the U.S., and
"Students today have a very negative energy surrounding their high
school education," says summit participant Zainab Ramahi, an
undergraduate student in knowledge integration, a unique
interdisciplinary program at the University of Waterloo. "The world
needs students who feel impassioned and excited about going to
The Learning 2030 Communiqué, video of summit plenary sessions, and summaries of the behind-closed
door meetings that led to the Communiqué, are available at http://wgsi.org/video . A more detailed Learning 2030 Blueprint will be released in the New Year.
Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) is a non-profit partnership
between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo, a pairing that has previously resulted in the distinguished Perimeter
Scholars International program and the University of Waterloo's
pioneering Institute for Quantum Computing. The mandate of WGSI is to
promote dialogue around complex global issues and to catalyze the
long-range thinking necessary to advance ideas, opportunities and
strategies for a secure and sustainable future through the Equinox
Summit Series, Equinox Blueprints and Impact Activities. For more
information visit wgsi.org
Image with caption: "Learning 2030 brought together an international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational group to create a bold new vision for the future of high school education. (CNW Group/Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131003_C7087_PHOTO_EN_31675.jpg
Image with caption: "October 3, 2013, Learning 2030 participants emerged with the Equinox Communiqué, their combined plan for how to build high schools that prioritize problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation. (CNW Group/Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131003_C7087_PHOTO_EN_31677.jpg
SOURCE: Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)
For further information:
Communications Coordinator, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)
T +1 (519) 569-7600 ext. 7613