Pursuing the Future Now

APIS Hawaii is a place where students are immersed in working together to solve real world problems and connect academics to personal passions.  It is a place where students are concerned with each other’s well-being as part of a team, and their concerns reach far beyond the classroom to others all over the globe.

According to a growing body of indicators, in the near future, employers may not be so concerned with a diploma. They’ll look more at portfolios and examples of how students contributed to solving real-world problems. They’ll want to know how well students worked in a team and how well they can communicate with others and work toward innovative solutions.  Likewise, top U.S. Universities no longer have room to admit students who have not demonstrated the ability to apply their learning in real-world situations, think critically, and design innovative solutions, no matter how impressive their test scores and GPA.

Ted Dintersmith writes:

We collectively are pushing our education system in the exact wrong direction, and beating on it to go faster. When we should be educating our students to be bold problem solvers, we’re pushing them to memorize and regurgitate. When they’ll be entering an economy where their best job opportunity will be the job they can create, we’re educating them to be mindless hoop-jumpers. And until parents, government officials, and the press wise up, educators will be pushed to do the wrong thing, and our children’s futures will be jeopardized.

The administrative team at APIS Hawaii recently attended the Leading Schools of the Future Conference in Honolulu.  We had the chance to not only hear from, but actually sit at the table and work with innovative education consultants and researchers, Ted Dintersmith and Dr. Yong Zhao.

Dintersmith has become one of America’s leading advocates for education policies that foster creativity, innovation, motivation, and purpose. He shares what skills are valuable in a world of innovation, and how we can transform our schools to prepare kids for their futures.

Dr. Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books.

The exciting thing about working with these two education consultants was the confirmation that APIS Hawaii is already implementing many of the education reforms they suggest.  Both advocate for eliminating the traditional, single subject approach and instead working collaboratively through projects that require cross-disciplinary application of knowledge and skills to solve real world problems.  This approach is at the heart of the instructional design of APIS Hawaii.  Everyday our students work with small teams of teachers on cross-disciplinary projects that require deeper understanding of the core academic content.  Learning is active and students are not only encouraged, but expected to pursue the things they are passionate about through the projects they choose.

At APIS Hawaii, students experience an education that, as Dintersmith advocates, “Puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy.”  It’s exciting to see our students pushing beyond the limits of traditional schooling and developing the skills that top universities are looking for in their applicants and that the students will need for success in the future workplace.

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