10 Elements of Good Education | IDEA

10 Elements of Good Education

Posted by Dana Bennis on Nov 22, 2010 - 01:00 PM

In honor of today's National Day of Blogging for Real Education Reform, I'm reminded that the ideas for how education can be improved are already out there. Here at IDEA, we know that we are not pioneers of what is good in education. What IS deeply needed is to find new ways to frame, present, organize, advocate, and directly support schools and other programs working with youth so as to bring these ideas into reality.

So, on this national blogging day, I want to highlight a list of 10 features of good education from a 2002 report by Linda Darling-Hammond and the School Redesign Network at Stanford University. The report is called 10 Features of Good Small Schools: Redesigning High Schools, What Matters and What Works (PDF link). There are many great lists out there, but this one stands out for it's simplicity and comprehensive nature.

Two quick notes: first, these are features that are not only for small schools but that set out, as Darling Hammond says, "the kind of education many of us want for all of our children." And second, I want to make it clear that a school or program doesn't need to implement all 10 of these features before they can be called a "good" school or program. What matters is that these are the kinds of practices and questions that the community is continually considering in order to build the best learning environment they can.

The 10 Features:

1. Personalization

2. Continuous relationships

3. High standards and performance-based assessment

4. Authentic curriculum

5. Adaptive pedagogy

6. Multicultural and anti-racist teaching

7. Knowledgeable and skilled teachers

8. Collaborative planning and professional development

9. Family and community connections

10. Democratic decision-making

A huge shout out to all the work of Linda Darling Hammond, the School Redesign Network, and the thousands of educators, parents, students, and others who are working to make these practices the new standard for education.

Let's keep it up and we can get there!

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