Mission

The mission of Dream School Commons is to collect in one place the most innovative ideas related to education, to design new schools that embody these philosophies, and to find sponsorship in order to provide low cost or no cost dream schools for populations in need.

This is a community-based effort open to all stakeholders, including but not limited to students, educators, administrators, parents, employers and concerned individuals. In other words, if you have come to the realization that a system which evolved from the agricultural age through the industrial age is failing to serve the needs of modern society, you are invited to join the Dream School revolution.

What Sparked the Dream School Revolution

Education as we know it in 2011 has developed over 200 years through a process of evolution. As Sir Ken Robinson notes in this TED talk, the time has come for revolution.
 
One definition of revolution is "A dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized." Revolutions generally have a trigger, a spark that sets the the stage for a popular uprising against the status quo and in favor of dramatic and wide reaching change. Discontent and a grass roots desire for something better are at the heart of every revolution.

At Dream School Commons we believe that most stakeholders are not content with the present educational system. They understand the critical importance of education to the success of a society, that value goes far beyond mere dollars. An individual's long term quality of life, good or bad, is often linked to the quality of their education.

Who's Behind Dream School Commons

Jaime R. Wood
Ultimately, it is you who contribute your ideas and creative energy to the cause who make Dream School Commons a success. I'm just the person who talked my father into helping me create a web site to kick start the movement.

My name is Jaime R. Wood, and I started my teaching career as a program director for a before-and-after-school enrichment program where I helped K-6 grade students with their homework, organized arts & crafts and field trips, and played games and sports with them. 

From there, I helped ten other educators start a public charter school in Fort Collins, Colorado, based on Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) principles. There I taught sixth- and seventh-grade language arts, math, and physical education. We didn't use textbooks or grades, and we took students outside the school walls at least once a week as part of their "classroom" experience. Adventure, fieldwork, and service learning were regular aspects of the curriculum. Apart from funding, it was in many ways a Dream School.

Along the way, I wrote a book called Living Voices: Multicultural Poetry in the Middle School Classroom that was published by National Council of Teachers of English in 2006, which championed many of the constructivist teaching and learning methods I practiced in my own classroom. 

Now, I'm teaching writing at the community-college level in Portland, Oregon, and I'm inspired daily by the lives of my students. I see so many of them, especially those in my developmental writing classes, who are brilliant in many ways but think that they're not because of their past experiences in school. I often imagine what they could be if they'd had different educational paths available to them. This, for me, along with all of my other teaching experiences, is my motivation for starting Dream School Commons. We have to make those paths available to future students. If we don't, who will? 

We Couldn't Do It Without...

We are eternally grateful for the support and efforts of the following people:

What's Next for Dream School Commons

Now that basic construction of the website is complete, our goal is to recruit thousands of supporters willing to participate in the DSC Mission by sharing stories, writing articles, and participating in our discussion forum. We need more than regular visitors to the site; we need people who are willing to share their own dreams and ideas regarding education and to share this site with others. 

Once we've collected a representative sample of ideas, we'll use the forum to vote on which ideas are ready to be developed into Dream School designs. Design work will take place on Wiki pages. Using the Wiki format, anyone interested can contribute to the design of a Dream School based on the best ideas. The first design completed will be promoted as the first Dream School as we look for financial sponsorship that will bring that school to life. 

Part of our goal is to become a federally recognized nonprofit organization. We're currently working on this, and will keep you updated on our progress. This status will allow us to seek funding through grants and programs that are only open to nonprofits, but it will also make all contributions to Dream School Commons tax exempt. This will help us give some back to our contributors.

To stay up to date on our progress, follow our blog or follow us on Twitter.     

 


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