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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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A Note from George Lucas: Celebrating Unsung Heroes in Education

George Lucas

Filmmaker and Founder, George Lucas Educational Foundation
George Lucas, founder and chairman of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, owns the preliminary pencil sketch of Norman Rockwell's "Happy Birthday Miss Jones".

Today, on Teacher Appreciation Day, I want to send a word of thanks to a group of devoted individuals who, apart from my parents, have done the most to shape my life -- my teachers. From kindergarten to college, certain teachers engaged my curiosity and motivated me to learn. While I was not the best student, their efforts left a lasting impact.

For more than twenty years, my educational foundation has joined forces with teachers, parents, students, administrators, and business and community leaders to illuminate the most innovative learning strategies to be found in K-12 classrooms across the country. Along the way, we've met thousands of unsung heroes: people from different backgrounds, working long hours with diverse student populations, aiming to make learning the most engaging, relevant process it can be. These educators know that today's students need to leave school possessing important skills for success -- how to find information, critically assess its accuracy, be adaptive, collaborate with others, and creatively solve problems.

Through Edutopia, we identify these great educators and the learning strategies that are working in schools. We disseminate our findings on the Internet for easy access, anytime, anywhere. In the coming months, The George Lucas Educational Foundation will conduct more rigorous research on learning strategies that we have identified through Edutopia. We want to give you tools that will help you implement proven strategies such as Project-Based Learning (PBL) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

So whether you're in a school that has implemented a full project-based curriculum, or you're just starting out integrating new technologies, what matters most is that you keep pushing for greatness and that you don't give up -- even when it seems like you're being underappreciated and overly stressed and frustrated beyond all belief. You have the most important job of anyone today. Now more than ever, our kids need you to advocate for their futures. All of us need this.

We know that many of you who are reading this have done amazing things. Please take a moment to tell us what works at your school or district. By doing so, you help to highlight the best of what's happening in education today.

George Lucas

Filmmaker and Founder, George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Comments (13)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Matthew Farber's picture
Matthew Farber
Social studies teacher & educational technology adjunct pursuing an Ed.D.
Blogger 2014

Thank you, George!

George F Bartan's picture

George,you have done a great job with Edutopia. I am not a professional teacher but a parent interested in his child education and I have found interesting ideas here. I am a firm believer in PBL and I have tried to share my projects on www.aviation-for-kids.com. My suggestion will be to create in Edutopia a section for parents, too. It`s not just the teachers that contribute to our children education but also the parents.In a world where information is available is in real time, anytime and everywhere, the education process has changed and we need a partnership between the educators as facilitators of this transfer of information and the parents.

Sasha Zekulin's picture

Dear George,
Thank you for your commitment and support of education & education technology. One of my favorite teachers took us to see Return of the Jedi in grade 3 & she had a talking car. Star Wars, technology & teaching - all the 3 best things all at once!

I LOVE the philosophy and approach of Edutopia. It's a gold mine for teachers SS administrators of all levels.

As a Canadian, I get sad when there are aspects of what you guys do that we can't tap into, or aren't tied into our curriculum. I hope that you would consider crossing the boarder one day to a Canadian branch - we would be all over it!!

Thank you again for your dedication to education, and in particular meaningful integration of technology to enhance teaching & learning.

Cheers,
Sasha Zekulin
Education Technology Consultant
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

Hi George Bartan -- Thanks for your note. We agree that parents play a critical role. It is our plan to pilot a new Parents section here in the Edutopia blog. I hope you will join us for that and even contribute!

George F Bartan's picture

Thank you Betty for your reply.It`s so encouraging to see initiatives like Edutopia . At this point I believe that a real reform in education will come from the bottom up. Interested and involved parents, passionate teachers connected on platforms like Edutopia can do more than policy makers constrained by their own regulations and political agendas.I will definitely participate in your future projects and I will try to get more parents and teachers involved.

George F Bartan's picture

Thank you Betty for your reply.It`s so encouraging to see initiatives like Edutopia . At this point I believe that a real reform in education will come from the bottom up. Interested and involved parents, passionate teachers connected on platforms like Edutopia can do more than policy makers constrained by their own regulations and political agendas.I will definitely participate in your future projects and I will try to get more parents and teachers involved.

M. A. Hauck, M.Ed's picture
M. A. Hauck, M.Ed
Life Skills Support Teacher

Can anyone but me see the irony of using a Norman Rockwell portrayal of American education as a symbolic backdrop for what Lucas and his GLEF represents in his blog post? Give me the demure school marm any day over the typically ill-prepared Millennial and their poor fashion choices, their unspeakably ugly tattoos, and their coarse pop culture inspired mannerisms and speech.

Roberta's picture

Thank YOU, Edutopia folks for providing some powerful messages to take back to school! It has been a great pleasure to go on to this site and research what you have "researched". Today we hear phrases like "Fidelity to the program.", or "The research says..." It is nice to be able to find one of your articles that can add or promote discourse to district discussions.
Thank You!

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