RE@L Post Commentary on StarTribune Editorial Page - 12/4/18: George H. W. Bush's Legacy - "We All Learn From Doing!"
NOTE: RE@L is pleased to present the Letter to the Editor by Tom King, RE@L Blogmeister, and published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after the recent passing of former President, George H. W. Bush.
President Bush visited a very unique school here in Minnesota back in 1991, called the Saturn School of Tomorrow.
Both of your RE@L Blogmeisters played a supporting role for this school back then.
Dale, as CEO of MECC, authorized a major contribution with MECC’s extensive software resources. Tom was the founder of the St. Paul Saturn School of Tomorrow in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This unique school reformed K12 education with its primary focus on:
- Personal Learning Plans for Each Student,
- Parental Involvement in the Student Plan,
- Hands-On and Team-Based Learning,
- Using Downtown Community Resources, and a
- Comprehensive Technology Plan that used computers and other technologies to empower teaching and learning.
Read on about the role about President George H. W. Bush, visiting the school, extolling the school’s new features, and also learning from the students! Here’s the rest of the story:
Minneapolis StarTribune Readers Write-Letters to the Editor, Dec 4, 2018
George H.W. Bush’s legacy:
“We could all learn from the lesson a student
taught the President in 1991.”
Elijah Pughsley, pictured in 1991, pondered a moment before he answered President George H.W. Bush’s question during a visit to the Saturn School of Tomorrow in St. Paul.
We lost a leader who truly cared for the people he served. All of us. No, he was not an orator. His well-intended deeds spoke louder than his words. Like each of us, he made mistakes. He made no mistakes in his wanting a better world and a better country. Doing can be vexing, of course. But, President George H.W. Bush was a doer who learned from his doing, successes and mistakes.
An example of that focus on presidential betterment was reported in the Star Tribune in May 1991. On the front page was a photograph of Bush, sitting alongside a St. Paul school student who was clearly in deep thought.
The president had just asked the student what he liked about his new school. Bush was visiting to recognize the new school for its unique and promising approach to better learning and teaching. In front of them sat an array of Lego blocks, gears and motors, controlled by a computer program the student had devised. Well-schooled in his “thinking before doing,” the student told the president that he was working hard, using the school’s new tech tools and learning basic skills. He then added, “I like learning with my hands, and computers let me work with my hands.” That insight taught the president that there’s more than one way to learn needed skills.”
Bush extolled the Saturn School model in his remarks during his visit to the school back in 1991. As a result, the school had over a 100,000 people who came to visit the school. The tours were led by the students themselves.
Twenty-seven years later, we are still looking for better ways for more students to learn. A thoughtful student had reminded all of us that we need to provide a larger palette of helpful teaching and learning tools.
Bush had well understood what he had learned from his school visit and brought political attention with more resources to help more schools. In the graphic at the right, Tom King shows President Bush the various learning projects of Saturn Students.
We are still in great need of more and better ways for diverse students to learn. Bush and a thoughtful student showed us how it happens. Let’s think first and then do it.
Here’s the way RE@L will make reform happen: RE@L Systemic Change™:
As our many RE@LBlog readers know, we are firmly committed to systemic change. Systemic change brings a carefully-devised plan to make reform work. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition: “Systemic change refers to complete change in any system: for example, the whole national school system….
Systemic change is required when efforts to change one aspect of a system fail to fix the problem. The whole system needs to be transformed.
That’s precisely what RE@L, with its emerging STEM Investigations™, is committed to make happen. RE@L has a systemic plan and a roster of STEM-based Investigation™ products to go with it. These new products are powered by a RE@L STEM Portal™ of accessible tools and resources for both teachers and students.
There’s more to come from RE@L and our Systemic Changes. Stay tuned!