SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman

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A new roadmap: Equinox Blueprint provides vision for 21st century education

Equinox Blueprint urges focus on high school as UN Millennium Development Goals reach deadline

OXFORD, UK, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Across the globe there is a growing recognition that 2014 is a watershed year for change in education. To address this need for change, Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030 - a vision for redesigning high school developed by education innovators from six continents - was released today at the World Literacy Summit. It brings together the latest research, knowledge and experience in global approaches to education with a specific focus on rebooting high school for the needs of the 21st century.

"We need the kind of change that can work anywhere for anyone, regardless of their resources," said Dr. Michael Brooks, curator of Equinox Summit: Learning 2030 at which the Blueprint was developed. "It doesn't matter who saw this path first, the point is, in 2014, we can finally embark on it together. We can impact the well-being of a generation with changes that are well-defined, affordable, and implementable. But we need to begin this work now."

Susan Opok, Managing Director of the Ugandan operations of the WISE-Award winning Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS) and Blueprint contributor said, "In Uganda, over 90% of children are now enrolled in primary education. For countries that have broadened their education programs to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education, we must turn our focus to secondary education or we will lose the gains we've made and undermine our efforts to eliminate poverty."

The heart of the Blueprint is a student-centred vision, encoded in a Charter of Learner's Rights. This is no surprise considering that 50% of the Blueprint contributors are aged 18 to 30. They include American education activist Nikhil GoyalThiel Fellows Chris Olah and Noor Siddiqui, and Sam Levin, founder of the Independent Project.

"Four years ago, as high school student, I designed an alternative school - the Independent Project. It is run by students, and operates as a school-within-a-school," said Levin. "I saw kids about to drop out not only finish high school, but become passionate about their education. I have seen first-hand the type of engagement that is possible in the learning environment proposed in the Learning 2030 Blueprint."

The Blueprint focuses on seven goals, each of which is further supported with case studies and research:

  • Developing lifelong learners with a clear sense of self
  • Cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects that connect students with their interests and community
  • Fluid groupings of students dictated by of-the-moment academic and social needs
  • Teachers who co-create and curate the learning of their colleagues and students
  • Ongoing, iterative assessment of learning
  • Learners, teachers, caregivers and government all at the decision making table
  • Risk taking students and teachers who are empowered to experiment with their education

In order to 'unfreeze' these priorities, students from the Master of Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo designed an interactive website, learning2030.org. On this platform, education communities around the world can share their stories and plans for change, discuss common issues, and support one another in the ongoing process of transforming high school education.

The Blueprint can be downloaded at wgsi.org.

About the Waterloo Global Science Initiative

Founded in 2009, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) is a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo, a pairing that has previously resulted in the distinguished Perimeter Scholars International program and the University of Waterloo's pioneering Institute for Quantum Computing. WGSI's mandate is to promote dialogue around complex global issues and to catalyze the long-range thinking necessary to advance ideas, opportunities and strategies for a secure and sustainable future. The organization's core activities include the Equinox Summit Series, Equinox Blueprints, Equinox Fellowship for young leaders, and a range of impact activities programmed around each summit topic and its outcomes. For more information visit wgsi.org.

SOURCE Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)

Image with caption: "Education innovators working to develop Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030. (CNW Group/Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140416_C4011_PHOTO_EN_39337.jpg

Image with caption: "Education innovators working to develop Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030. (CNW Group/Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140416_C4011_PHOTO_EN_39339.jpg

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