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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Edutopia Community Principles

The Edutopia Community Principles

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Our community is dedicated to connecting people who want to improve the learning process.

1) Why We're Here

We are teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, technology staff, librarians, college students, and other educators who are committed to positive change in education. While we face many challenges in today's education system, we see even more opportunities. We look forward to helping each other innovate -- from large scale reform to day-to-day tips -- with clarity and integrity.


2) Permission to Innovate

Edutopia welcomes innovators in education. We invite ideas that seem wacky or risky or undoable, as well as those that are practical, proven, and within reach.


3) Productive and Constructive

Our approach to all problems is to be productive and constructive -- both in praise and in criticism. And, while we realize that innovating often feels like a Sisyphean task in the face of tighter budgets and industrial-age assessment requirements, we are committed to ensuring that the discourse maintains a standard of respect between all community members.


4) Interdependence

If the 21st century has taught us anything so far, it's that networks of like-minded people can move mountains. We are encouraged and inspired by these myriad opportunities for collaboration, and the ability to do so without geographical limits. The Edutopia community recognizes this interdependence as a requirement for any sort of success.


5) Transparency, Privacy, and Identity

With the advent of social media and ubiquitous Internet access, the social contract around privacy and identity is changing rapidly. What was once considered private info is often given freely in exchange for better service, additional information, or entertainment.


Each person brings his or her unique set of needs around privacy and identity (see our privacy policy). The Edutopia community values transparency to the extent it can promote discourse and constructive action without compromising the privacy of our members.

Thank you for taking time to review these principles. We welcome your comments.

Comments (28)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Jonie Kipling's picture

I am part of a small group of teachers who are opening a new charter school in Temecula. It does feel like we are moving a mountain, but we are committed to teaching children and leading them to be creative, problem solving citizens in a world that desperately needs their help. The school is an independent study school with the option to also meet as a day school. Emotional support and any advice would be welcomed!

brahim elouafi's picture
brahim elouafi
teacher of English at a high school Morocco

I firmly believe in concerted efforts,in initiative, in defying hangups,invincible wills that never yield,in a pdop of rain that dug a hole in a rock.I also deem it right that our destiny and that of our children/students lies in our hands.we all know the pertinence of education in our lives.Education is the KEY;if lost ,the future is at stake

Nancy E Padget's picture

I have always been involved in various areas of education. As a firm believer in motivating students to become excited about taking ownership of their education, I consider myself an 'out-of-the-box' innovator. It's refreshing to be involved with such a group as this.

Ron Rice's picture

Today, I joined the "middle School" discussion group.

I am concerned with our students in 7th and 8th grades throughout the United States....with their excessive use of the INTERNET to gamble!!
This potential addiction to gambling comes quickly, and is the most QUIET addiction our middle school students are exposed to.

Do others share my concern?

Rocky Barrera's picture
Rocky Barrera
Student Services Professional

The failure of our schools, particularly in regard to students of color is not new and well documented. The achievement gap continues to persist after numerous K-12 reform efforts, years of university research and outreach program investment. The economic disparity and polarization of American society along racial lines has grown, despite the gains of the civil rights era, and newfound political influence.
These chronic conditions can be directly attributed to our nation's ongoing preoccupation with a 'national identity'. Since the advent of the belief in 'Manifest Destiny', our country created an educational system with a major purpose being the indoctrination of our citizens.(See Indian Schools)
Although we often hear the rhetoric of America being 'a nation of immigrants', we have bestowed the position of power, privilege and superiority upon our Euroamerican members. By very narrowly tracing our roots along the genealogical lines of 'western civilization', we have relegated people of African, Asian, and Indigenous America to positions of inferiority. History, literature, and all the American cultural norms as taught in our schools, serve to perpetuate 'Institutionalized Racism'.
Speaking from a Hispanic/Latino/Chicano/Mexican-American perspective, I can cite countless instances in which I have been made to feel inferior or alien. The sinking of the Spanish Armada, Remember the Alamo, Remember the Maine...The choice has been to reject MY true identity or to always feel un-American, unwanted, unwelcomed, the enemy. Do I betray the memory and sacrifices of MY forefathers, or the country I love, the USA?
Those lacking or confused about their identity, will surely lack self esteem and suffer as a result. They will neither possess the tools nor confidence to deal with life's challenges. For they will at their core, in the deepest part of their subconscious feel insecure, inferior, unworthy and unable to cope and overcome.
Every ethnic group has their own unique American experience, identity, successes, and challenges. They carry with them 'baggage' both good and bad from their places of origin. Some, long ago discarded or forgotten. These have been studied and debated too often in the confines of Ethnic Studies courses. Ethnic Studies must become American Studies! Now is the time in our nation's history to meet the challenges before us by thoroughly examining the issue of race, the damaging consequences of continuing with a Eurocentric curriculum, and the advantages of true Diversity Appreciation in a global economy. It is well past the time to redefine what America has been, is today, what we will be tomorrow, and, what it means to be an American. All Americans will benefit from a broader perspective and exposure to a complete history of America, economic, cultural and scientific contributions, as well as the defense of American society and civilization.

Anne Brocklesby's picture
Anne Brocklesby
I write about mental health and find education fascinating

Replying to Rocky's post in January 2011, I can only endorse what you say about 'institutionalised racism'. Why not start a discussion about it Rocky?

On the question of 'identity' it is good to belong to a country and understand their values and beliefs. What about all those people who are now refugees and stateless?

Ethnic studies need to include global resources.

Carl E. Farr's picture

REACH FARR Youth Enhancing Society, Education Going Onward is a Goal Setting, Character Building non profit organization. We believe if a student have a career goal, then we can work with the student's character.

mona lal's picture

Schools in Fiji are undergoing a lot of changes to be on par with the global community.The primary change is that of removal of exams up till Forms 6 and Forms 7. The shift to authentic assessment has not been a very welcome one for some teachers/parents due to their 'mindset' about children not doing their best academically. The colonial legacy of individualism and competitiveness hinders holistic development of our children.

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