If you were to Start a School from Scratch….

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, LangWiches, Dec 24, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've actually thought about this question quite a bit. New Brunswick has legislation that makes it comparatively easy to start colleges and even universities, so I've idly scoped out all the buildings in the city, pondering amenities and sitelines, and thinking about the possibilities. Moncton could use a polytechnic (I always thought Saint John made a mistake in refusing one a few years back) with a strong liberal arts element, along the lines of MIT. I'd develop on an engaged and community-focused curriculum focused on projects rather than content. It would be bilingual. And I'd take the advice in this post:

  • hiring teachers "who can demonstrate skills (not just talk about them) and are experiencing a connected learning network as they are building their own digital presence "
  • supporting networked students
  • "including documenting and reflecting as an integral part of the student work flow /learning process"

I think it would be good, and it's the sort of core presence (and not a withdrawn and distracted academia) that is key to a region's cultural and economic growth.

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