A Year of Learning: January Syllabus


I’ve created a syllabus of sorts to help myself learn everything I want to learn about education (well, a lot of what I want to learn). My ultimate goal is to start a school, and I want to use the next year to create a massive binder that will help guide the structure, curriculum, and teaching/learning of the school (I have a separate syllabus to help me figure out the logistics of actually starting a school).

I’ve got a different topic for every month, as well as particular outcomes and the learning experiences that align with the outcomes.

Here’s what is tentatively on the docket for January:

Starting with the End in Mind: The Purpose of Education

  • Standards
  • Schedules
  • Curricular approaches
  • Vision statements
  1. Vision statement (e.g., “Our graduates…”)
  2. Standards
  3. Plan for measuring ultimate success (i.e., assessment plan at a macro-level)
  4. Guiding Principles document (i.e., how the school will be structured) & one-page summary
  5. Blog posts that summarize my learning

Week 1

  • Review everything I’ve learned list in journal
  • Book: History of public schooling
  • Research Vision Statements/Guiding Principles
  • Book: Pedagogy of the Oppressed
  • Books: Dewey
  • Read New Standards

Week 2

  • Books: Habits of Mind series
  • Research international approaches to education
  • Research open schools movement
  • Book: Summerhill

Week 3

  • Research Regio Amelio
  • Research Waldorf
  • Books: Montessori
  • Observe at School of the Woods
  • Revisit notes about how to frame progressive education
  • Observe at Banks Street

Week 4

  • Research community schools movement
  • Observe at HSPA
  • Joseph Miller and Jenn Dewhirst: Staying in touch with alumni
  • Book: E.D. Hirsh
I’d love to hear your revision thoughts!
  1. Do the topics and sub-topics seem effective? Would you revise them in any way–big or small? Are there others that I’m missing?
  2. Do the outcomes seem effective? Would you revise them in any way–big or small? Are there others that I’m missing?
  3. Do the learning experiences seem effective? Would you revise them in any way–big or small? Are there others that I’m missing?

One response to “A Year of Learning: January Syllabus

  1. Your syllabus is so inspiring! I’ll definitely keep reading to see what you learn. I’ve just decided to take the leap into secondary education (from my plans to teach college-level English), and I’m doing all I can to get myself up to speed. I subscribe to a few Education feeds through my Google reader (NY Times, NPR Education, and the Department of Ed. are among them) and I’ve found them to be very helpful in terms of staying abreast of the latest news. It can be overwhelming, though, because there’s so much to learn! Kudos to you for taking such an organized and ambitious approach.

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