Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel
Engines for Education is a nonprofit organization founded by Roger Schank, whose goal is to radically change our notions of school. At Engines for Education, we believe that we can replace boring and increasingly irrelevant schools with new exciting learning environments. We are attempting to change both what and how people learn. We seek to avoid traditional lecture-based formats and the usual classroom structures in favor of story-centered curricula that simulate real-life situations with meaningful goals that encourage students to explore their own interests with guidance from skilled mentors. Our theories and approaches are derived from Dr. Schank’s work at the Institute for the Learning Sciences, at Northwestern University.
Dr. Roger Schank has devoted his career to understanding how people think and learn. In the 1970’s, as chairman of the computer science department at Yale, he focused on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, figuring out how to get computers to "learn". Around this time something happened that changed his focus permanently-- his children went to school. When Roger looked at what they were doing in school, he was appalled. Continue reading…
Socratic Arts announces the formation of a new company called XTOL (Experiential Teaching On Line.) XTOL will build on line masters degree programs that will be offered by well known universities. The programs will prepare students for real, existing jobs through a team based, learn by doing approach that will develop real world skills. The programs will be designed by real world practitioners, not theoreticians.
Read more about XTOL, Socratic Arts' experience building Masters programs, and the degrees currently being considered for development.
Alternative Learning Places
We're proposing to re-design and replace school with what we are calling Alternative Learning Places (ALP). What will the alternative look like? Kids working in teams on projects that they're interested in, with goals they care about (building a robot that does something, building a toothpick bridge that can hold weight, building a car that will win a race, telling another kid about where they live, forming a friendship with a kid in another country…) Kids practicing the skills they need for lifelong success in the real world- such as teamwork, goal conflict resolution, judgment, persuasion, management, and communication. The Alternative Learning Places will give parents and their children an alternative to our broken education system. Visit the Alternative Learning Places website for more information, or review the Alternative Learning Place brochure (PDF) for more information on our Engineering curriculum for 5-6 year olds.
BES at La Salle University
Engines for Education’s sister company, Socratic Arts, is partnering with the BES at La Salle University to provide online, Story-Centered Curriculum advanced degree programs in a variety of fields, such as Business, eBusiness, and Learning Sciences. For more information, visit the Socratic Arts BES La Salle homepage or watch the Cognitive Processes that Underlie Learning lecture that Roger Schank gave at La Salle University.
VISTA’s Year in Health Sciences
Engines for Education now offers a full-year Health Sciences curriculum. Students play roles such as nutrition advisors, scientists, and sports medics working to solve the kinds of problems these professionals typically face in their day-to-day work. Learn more…