A Future-Focused Vision of Education
While in many ways the future is unknowable, certain aspects are all but certain. For example, our world will continue to shrink as communications, travel and commerce become increasingly global. And another: Critical and creative-thinking skills will be required for success in virtually every job.
There’s no denying that our students must be prepared to live and work in a world shaped by them. That’s the driving force behind My Tomorrow, a new vision of education for CPS in which every student is prepared for the remarkable future racing straight at us. My Tomorrow, launched in 2014-15 in grades 7-8, now is being implemented at more grade levels in every school in our district.
Are Students Ready for the Real World?
There are the eight guiding principles that will ensure our students are, in the words of our rallying cry, Ready for the Real World:
- Higher Expectations for students to meet tougher learning standards and compete for increasingly demanding jobs, they must be exposed to more rigorous content and performance expectations.
- Engagement: The future is layered, networked and vibrant, so our students must be engaged socially, emotionally and intellectually — and at a deep level — to fully develop their talents.
- Collaboration: The workplace is becoming increasingly collaborative, and it will be even more so in the future. So our students must be comfortable working in teams, sharing responsibility and making joint decisions.
- Real-World Connections: The future holds many challenges, so our students must be exposed to real-world issues and their possible solutions, while being inspired by — and even consulting with — experts throughout the world.
- Technology: The future promises to be only more wired (and wireless) and data-driven, so our students must be able to use information and communications technology to expand their knowledge and deepen their skills.
- Social-Emotional Learning: In both the actual and digital realms, the future will be even more heavily networked, so our students must be able to expand their self-awareness, learn social skills and understand the hallmarks of wise choices.
- Critical Thinking: The future offers an abundance of information and opinion, so our students must be able to analyze, synthesize and evaluate.
- Creativity: The future is awash in opportunities and challenges, so our students must be able to generate new and novel ideas, conceive of alternatives and view things from different perspectives.
The Future Is Waiting. But We’re Not.
My Tomorrow is a multifaceted program that is rolling out (and evolving) throughout Cincinnati Public Schools. The My Tomorrow vision is that all seventh-graders will graduate prepared to actively pursue their chosen career paths.
Learning to Learn in an Always-Learning Sort of Way.
- Inquiry-Based Learning: So much of the best learning begins with questions and ends not in answers but, rather, yet more questions and a deeper understanding.
- Problem-Based Learning: Wrestling with tough problems, both alone and in groups, helps students appreciate the multi-disciplinary nature of knowledge.
- Discovery Learning: Students embrace knowledge when they can find things out for themselves. Doing so allows them to delve into areas of personal interest.
- Cooperative Learning: Working in groups exposes students to differing points of view, the power of collaboration and the benefits of positive interdependence.
- Authentic Learning: To bring academic concepts to life, students must engage in activities that allow for real-world simulations of workplace scenarios to help them understand how to apply what they are learning.
Can We Accomplish Something This Big? We’ve Done it Before.
My Tomorrow would not be possible without the progress already accomplished by our teachers, administrators and staff — with plenty of parent and student support. For instance, Creating Community Learning Centers within our schools, integrating seventh and eighth grades into our high school buildings, and expanding Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment programs. That’s why we’re confident that MyTomorrow will be successful — and our students and our entire community will be better because of it.
Come Along for the Journey.
Here’s how you can stay abreast of My Tomorrow developments, learnings and results: