Monday, June 27, 2011

Renovating the One-room Schoolhouse

At first glance the door seems bare-boned and sparse, something like a middle American refrigerator door with sundry notes, reminders and yesterdays' art projects neatly posted. Could this really be the front door to "America's largest classroom"?

The largest, most unpronounceable, acronyms in American media--PBS, WGBH, WNET, KET--have combined resources with the National Archives,  the Library of Congress, NPR, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Education to produce and launch  PBS LearningMedia, a free service for all teachers, students and families nationwide.

As America’s largest classroom, PBS and our local stations are helping to re-imagine classroom learning and are partnering with our producers and teachers to engage students to accelerate academic achievement,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “PBS LearningMedia is a key part of the solution to one of the nation’s biggest challenges – improving student progress to build our future workforce.”

My Mom began her formal education in a one-room schoolhouse on the Rolling Plains, and to this day she is one of the smartest women I know.  PBS LearningMedia today provides something akin to the solid integration of that old one-room schoolhouse in a truly global environment.  This is one giant step toward accessible, quality education for every boy, girl and undeclared in this country today.  And who knows, we so-called grown-ups might learn something from it, too, considering what Sesame Street did to and for us!

I cracked open that door to take a peek inside.  Check out what  Wynton Marsalis and his band are telling the kids about "collective improvisation".

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