WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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The faculty will include more teachers who are on their second or third careers. A civics teacher may be a lawyer who at 40 decided to study for a teaching certificate. A veteran of Silicon Valley may be teach- ing computer coding classes. School district curriculums will be supplemented by an array of Web-based courses that offer advanced courses or highly specialized subjects, be it Urdu or econometrics. Meanwhile, Weston teachers are already developing online courses for high school students worldwide. The Web has its downside, for students at least. With virtual class- rooms at home, the "snow day" may become history. Expect the lines to be blurred among subject areas, as cross-disci- plinary team teaching and experiential projects become the norm. Students, for instance, may be assigned to draw up a proposal for a skate board park. That would require math and physics skills to design the ramps; communication and political skills to rally town support; and civic skills to navigate the red tape. "We tend to think about math discretely, science discretely—different teachers, different rooms," says Wellesley Superintendent David Lussier, "yet life presents itself in a series of problems in which you're going to have access three or four of those [subjects] around a problem. It's really the problem that drives the need." A foretaste of things to come is Evolutions, a yearlong program of project-based learning that Wellesley High School plans to launch next year. "It's not so important what you know, because with technology you can access information so quickly," says Lussier. "What's most important is what you can do with it." Education will take place as much, if not more, outside the class- room. The library may become more of a "learning common," where students team up on projects while tapping into the latest technology, perhaps Skyping with their counterparts at other schools. Or they may be conducting lab experiments, building furniture, or inventing their own high tech gizmos in "makerspaces," as education pioneers call the school equivalent of Steve Jobs' legendary garage. And then there's that vast learning space Mother Nature has already constructed outdoors. If you happen to be visiting a grade school, you may find first and second graders in the same class. Some may spend two years; others just one. You won't see students fidgeting at desks. Instead, they'll be sitting in groups of comfortable modular furniture or on ball chairs or sprawled on the floor. Kids tend to be more engaged in a comfortable environment. 86 A Trip to 2025 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5

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