In a couple of pieces for the Washington Post, we have been introduced to the man behind Most Likely to Succeed, who is promoting a fresh look at schooling that moves beyond the 19th century focus of preparing kids for manufacturing jobs. In a September profile, Valerie Strauss introduced him in "Not Bill Gates: Meet Ted Dintersmith," which framed the work of a man who is following the path of people like Tony Wagner and Sir Ken Robinson who are merely seeking to move education beyond the standard factory model.
The over-arching message of the film is that students and teachers should be given the latitude and trust to define their own approach to learning. So I hope other schools don’t just copy what they see in the film, but are inspired to come up with bold and innovative learning experiences that leverage the talents and passions of the students and teachers involved. That said, there are a few key principles you see in the film that are applicable to all schools and classrooms. Students have a large role in defining and managing their learning. Classrooms center around peer-interaction, not on a lecture model with the teacher doing most/all of the talking. Students are encouraged to make decisions, try bold approaches, experience failure, and given a chance to rebound. Students are assessed on the basis of a public display of achievement. Students provide feedback and constructive criticism of each other, and play a big role in the assessment process. These are the things I hope find their way into other schools.
And in a more comprehensive look at his goals and actions, we learned what happens when "A Venture Capitalist Searches for the Purpose of Education":