A Word from George Lucas: Edutopia’s Role in Education

Dear Edutopia.org Visitor:

Education is the foundation of our democracy -- the stepping-stones for our youth to reach their full potential. My own experience in public school was quite frustrating. I was often bored. Occasionally, I had a teacher who engaged my curiosity and motivated me to learn. Those were the teachers I really loved. I wondered, "Why can't school be engaging all of the time?" As a father, I've felt the imperative to transform schooling even more urgently.

Traditional education can be extremely isolating -- the curriculum is often abstract and not relevant to real life, teachers and students don't usually connect with resources and experts outside of the classroom, and many schools operate as if they were separate from their communities.

Project-based learning, student teams working cooperatively, children connecting with passionate experts, and broader forms of assessment can dramatically improve student learning. New digital multimedia and telecommunications can support these practices and engage our students. And well-prepared educators are critical.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) documents and disseminates the most exciting classrooms where these innovations are taking place. By shining the spotlight on these inspiring teachers and students, we hope others will consider how their work can promote change in their own schools.

Our Foundation staff is eager to know about your work in improving schools and what you think of our site. We encourage you to share your ideas on Edutopia.org by contributing to the comments field at the bottom of any content page, or email your comments to feedback@edutopia.org.

Other Commentary

Why Teachers Matter (2014)
A Note from George Lucas: Celebrating Unsung Heroes in Education (2013)
Education: The Single Most Important Job (2012)
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, filmmaker and Edutopia founder George Lucas shares his vision for how education can change lives.

Join the Movement to Transform Learning (2011)
George Lucas shares his thoughts on shining a spotlight on the most exciting classrooms, schools, and districts where innovations in teaching and learning are taking place.

Beyond Superman (2010)
Edutopia founder George Lucas responds to the Waiting for Superman discussion.

Talking Heads and Hearts: Intellectual and Emotional Education Make a Potent Pairing (2008)
George Lucas joins a panel of national experts moderated by Daniel Goleman that explores the value of social and emotional learning.

George Lucas: Sharing His Hope for Education at Dreamforce (2007)
The education visionary speaks about innovation in education and the critical need for businesses to better support educational programs.

The Next Chapter (2010)
George Lucas on revving up for the future of Edutopia.org by supporting a Web-only platform with a strong community component.

Mr. Lucas Goes to Washington: Edutopia's Founder Advocates Telecom Access For All (2008)
The chairman of The George Lucas Educational Foundation urges Congress to expand Internet discounts for schools.

Educating Hearts and Minds: An Interview with George Lucas (2007)
George Lucas and Daniel Goleman discuss the many ways that social and emotional learning enhance the education process.

George Lucas: What Education Means to Me (2003)
"I've been interested in education for many years now, with vivid memories of my boyhood growing up in Modesto, California. Frankly, I was not very engaged in my classes; in fact, as a boy, I liked to daydream and write stories."

Classrooms Without Borders: A Worldwide Learning Environment (2002)
"Since September 11, the need to educate American children about the larger world has become even more urgent. Perhaps now we will see the need . . . to teach more deeply about the profound similarities and differences of the world's peoples."

EQ>IQ: The Value of Social and Emotional Learning (2001)
"In my work in filmmaking, we need talented individuals with technical skills, but their abilities to communicate and work with others are just as valuable."

On Teachers and Teaching: The Key to Innovation in Education (2000)
"The most powerful element in education is the teacher. Nothing will ever compete with that."

The Power of Teachers: The Opportunity to Shape Lives (1999)
"There is no more critical need in our society today than preparing teachers who know their subject matter well and who understand the social and emotional needs of students."

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