Many educators today are worried about the competition they are getting from private schools, voucher options, and charter schools. In my research, the vast majority of these schools are still doing “school” essentially the same way. There’s a teacher up at the front of the room, teaching, and kids are “learning” from that teacher.
This is not that disruptive.
What is disruptive is something like this: WeWork’s WeGrow acquires education startup MissionU
You may have read that and thought I was speaking a foreign language.
WeWork is a company that allows people to come to their spaces and use them to work. This is a $20 billion company!
So, they started a school, much like an Acton Academy. It’s about creating a hyper-localized, student and family driven school that really meets the needs to kids.
Here’s this quote:
This fall, when $20 billion startup WeWork opens elementary school WeGrow, the 40 inaugural students will start their day with a laughing circle or a meditation session. At lunchtime, students will prepare meals using food grown on the farm they run, while live guitar and drums play. Throughout the day, there will be blocks of time set aside for the arts, including drama and dance. And during the week, there will be opportunities for students to meet with WeWork mentors, paired according to the students’ interests–or, in the parlance of WeGrow founder and CEO Rebekah Neumann, according to their “superpassions” and “superpowers.”>
There is the idea that a company can provide a better experience for their employees’ children than the school system can.
Imagine companies offering education of your children as a benefit, much like health insurance and retirement pensions used to be the big draws. And, it’s not just reading, writing, and arithmetic:
For example, WeGrow plans to include a parent lounge in the WeGrow school space that architect Bjarke Ingels is designing. The lounge will host programming for parents, as well as offer them a place to work while their child is in class. Parents will also be encouraged to engage with some practices, like meditation, alongside their children.>
The future is exciting, but we are not going to be able to continue doing education the way we always have.
And just in case you think this is crazy talk, Acton Academy has thousands of new applications each month to start satellite schools.
These are not scary things that are happening to us. These examples show me that there is a lot of ways to make sure that we are doing what is best for our students.