thumbnail of ...And Learning For All; No. 1; What's Ahead: Where Learning is Going in America
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<v announcer>And Learning for All is funded by a grant from the U.S. <v announcer>Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. <v speaker 1>When you look at our nation as a whole and you see the, <v speaker 1>the increasing drop outs, the high teen pregnancy, the unemployment <v speaker 1>rate, we're not doing our jobs. <v speaker 1>Something's not working. <v speaker 2>It's the poverty that hurts the poverty of no education. <v speaker 3>It's a gradual decay, gradually eroding of the American <v speaker 3>dream. If we want to call it that. <v speaker 3>Look at the dropout problems and look at the alcohol problems and look at all those <v speaker 3>things. What we need is a model, a prevention model that <v speaker 3>works with kids before they get in trouble. <v speaker 4>A lot is expected of public schools today to shoe, to clothe, <v speaker 4>to feed and we're supposed to be the cure to all the ills of all the cultural
<v speaker 4>hang ups of whatever, and be able to keep the lid on the schoolhouse and educate at the <v speaker 4>same time and fulfill all the sociological <v speaker 4>and economical needs of those children. <v speaker 4>It's a mammoth job. <v narrator>People all over the country are concerned about what's happening to the social fabric of <v narrator>our nation and about the role our schools play in determining our nation's health. <v Jim McCabe>You know, most of us are still using a factory model of the high school. <v Jim McCabe>The model that was developed back in nineteen, the early nineteen hundreds <v Jim McCabe>to train kids how to be assembly line workers. <v Jack Kindsfater>Yeah. There can be improvement on education. <v Jack Kindsfater>There can be improvement in farming. <v Jack Kindsfater>There can be improvement in anything. <v Jack Kindsfater>But, you know, how we do it and what we do <v Jack Kindsfater>sometimes. That's the question. <v John Swanson>I mean, it seems like before things change, a catastrophe has to happen.
<v John Swanson>I think a catastrophe is happening in a lot of schools across the country today <v John Swanson>and that we just don't realize it and we don't want to believe it. <v speaker 5>An educational revolution is the only sensible thing left. <v speaker 6>Why do we need to change it? <v speaker 7>You can't change the kids. <v speaker 8>Assessment has to change. <v speaker 9>Change our mindset. <v speaker 10>Agent of change. <v speaker 11>Times have changed. <v speaker 12>You can't change. <v speaker 13>Change there's. <v speaker 14>Really change. <v speaker 6>To change it. Change it. Change it. <v narrator>So much change can be unsettling because people want to be sure the right <v narrator>changes are being made. <v Jack Kindsfater>Is this just another fad, like a banning phonics <v Jack Kindsfater>or new math or some of that stuff that after the fad's <v Jack Kindsfater>over, we decide, hey, maybe we better go back to some of the old <v Jack Kindsfater>system? <v narrator>This program and the series that follows will introduce people who are taking <v narrator>on the challenge of transforming their schools, their communities and the very way
<v narrator>America thinks about education. <v narrator>These are the faces of change and they're showing what's ahead. <v intro>You're the main character. Scientist in the time travel. <v intro>This year's award for outstanding senior graduate goes to Mary Sue. <v intro>Right on, Everything you shared is something you will go after. <v intro>Using these formula the Mayans predicted eclipses with extreme accuracy. <v intro>What I've learned is the ability to win at life. <v narrator>East, west.
<v narrator>North and south, all over the country, people are making <v narrator>positive changes as they work to meet six national education goals. <v narrator>Making sure children are ready to learn, creating safe drug free schools, <v narrator>fostering excellence in math and science, inspiring achievement <v narrator>and citizenship, improving high school completion rates, and instilling <v narrator>a lifelong desire and love of learning. <v narrator>This program will share some basic ideas that are common to achieving all these education <v narrator>goals. There are underlying methods and attitudes that are reshaping, <v narrator>teaching, learning and the prospects for America's future. <v narrator>That future is at the heart of a fundamental understanding about the importance of <v narrator>education. The 21st century will demand the best citizens this country <v narrator>can produce. <v Rick Swenson>I think right now there is a lot of evidence out there that our country has a lot of <v Rick Swenson>citizens that really can't deal with complex issues.
<v Rick Swenson>And maybe that's the school's fault, at least in part. <v Rick Swenson>We've tried to make things true and false. <v Rick Swenson>Black and white, instead of where a lot of issues have gray <v Rick Swenson>areas where you have to make decisions and the decisions might be tough <v Rick Swenson>and they might be painful. And I want I want my students to be able to adjust <v Rick Swenson>to a very rapidly changing world. <v teacher>Those two get stuck together. <v narrator>There's also a widening consensus about how we begin to foster such students <v narrator>by starting young. <v Kathy Brendza>When you walk down the halls, you see confident, happy children. <v Kathy Brendza>What a great start. They feel good about themselves. <v Kathy Brendza>Their self-esteem is high. <v Kathy Brendza>They are problem solvers. <v Kathy Brendza>I see them as as successful contributing adults because
<v Kathy Brendza>they've had such a great start. <v Kathy Brendza>And that's being real optimistic. But I feel that it's true. <v Tiffany Jackson>After I finish high school, I want to go to college <v Tiffany Jackson>and get a degree and I want to <v Tiffany Jackson>be a nurse or a lawyer or something that <v Tiffany Jackson>makes good money that I can really enjoy and have <v Tiffany Jackson>kids and get married. And have a great life. <v narrator>Such dreams are why America is reinvesting so much energy into education. <v narrator>We believe that each individual, regardless of ability or background, has a dream <v narrator>to reach for and unique talents. <v narrator>We also believe that this society only truly prospers when each individual has a <v narrator>chance to pursue those dreams and talents. <v Thomas Payzant>There aren't other countries in the world that have really made that total commitment. <v Thomas Payzant>And people sometimes forget that, given the extraordinary diversity in America
<v Thomas Payzant>and that it's still a worthy goal and one not to take lightly, but a <v Thomas Payzant>terribly difficult one to achieve. <v Don Kiener>Can a democracy function with uneducated people? <v Don Kiener>I don't think so. I don't see how it's possible. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>If we don't deal with that. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>You know, we will become comparable to a third world nation and we are going to be <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>out with our hands out because we are not going to <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>have the resources to make it happen. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>And I don't know why we have not really realized that our greatest <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>resources are in the classroom. <v James Deans>This country, if it's going to to to remain a world power <v James Deans>has to to rethink the way it educates <v James Deans>all children. <v James Deans>And it has to give resources as well as lip service <v James Deans>to programs. <v Speaker>And you've got a good enough job to where you can support her and the baby now? <v narrator>The primary resources America has to give to educating its citizens is time
<v narrator>and interest. What's required? <v Jim Chandler>Genuine concern on the part of every adult that walks the street. <v Jim Chandler>Wholesome advice should be forthcoming from every adult in the community, <v Jim Chandler>whether it's their child or not. <v Leopold Protomastro>Education cannot be devoid of humanity and we can't be thinking of the newest <v Leopold Protomastro>techniques simply of instructing a child without having that child become a very human <v Leopold Protomastro>being. And that means caring people around that child. <v Leopold Protomastro>That means structure that is set up so that it is not so <v Leopold Protomastro>impersonalized that the child feels like a number <v Leopold Protomastro>of automatons within a a an ongoing machinery. <v teacher 2>We can work something out even if you get turned-. <v Eduardo Cong>I believe that the teachers want to be your friends. <v Eduardo Cong>You know, they they're not setting rules so that they're not being so secretive <v Eduardo Cong>or they're not trying to push you away. <v teacher 3>We've got some folks and we'd like to have you join us. <v teacher 3>This is a buddy activity. <v Eduardo Cong>They want you. They want you to talk to them and see what's going on.
<v Eduardo Cong>As if you were talking to a professor in a college. <v Eduardo Cong>They want. They want you to give your input. <v Eduardo Cong>If it's positive, you know. Cool. If it's negative. <v Eduardo Cong>Well, we'll- we'll see what we can do. <v Eduardo Cong>You know. <v narrator>Personal relationships are so important because they bring out in people the strength, <v narrator>ambition and self-reliance from which all growth springs. <v Manny Khan>It's one on one. Everybody knows each other by their first names, including teachers. <v Manny Khan>And my counselor. I mean, we know each other. <v Manny Khan>He knows about my background. He knows about where I've come from, my problems. <v Manny Khan>And, you know, we talk about things. <v Nicole Soden>I've learned that inside every person there's this <v Nicole Soden>like a core and it tells you <v Nicole Soden>to love yourself unconditionally. <v Nicole Soden>And that, you know, it tells you who you are and how you really think. <v teacher 4>Nicole knows what's best for her, but to trust that that's <v teacher 4>that's it. Because you were born with that inner knowing of what's best for you.
<v Sam Wong>We as staff members are working so that that as a as a <v Sam Wong>total school, you know, your experience here is very is going to be complete. <v Sam Wong>And it's not just academic, you know, that we're going to meet your emotional needs and <v Sam Wong>your social needs as- the best that we can. <v Sam Wong>And we're going to set up we're gonna set up vehicles within our school to be able to do <v Sam Wong>that. <v teacher 3>You're right on everything you shared is something that we'll go after, dad by the way. <v Sam Wong>That every student has an advocate or more that that there is. <v Sam Wong>That students have a lot of control over, you know, how they learn. <v narrator>Only with a stable sense of self can today's students really take advantage of changes <v narrator>taking place in our classrooms. <v narrator>Once it's changed, making the most of student strengths and interests. <v Jean Helmer>Instead of me being the sage on the stage, I'm the guide on the side. <v Jean Helmer>Each student in there picks, his or her own field of interest. <v Jean Helmer>And then it's up to me to kind of keep them going.
<v Jean Helmer>I've had to get away from the idea that I'm supposed to know everything that I've had <v Jean Helmer>to adapt to the idea that very often my students know a lot more than I do and let them <v Jean Helmer>be expert and hold them accountable for that. <v Bob Moses>Well, for teachers to do this, then first they have to have the attitude <v Bob Moses>that what they are looking for in <v Bob Moses>the children is actually there, present in children, that children <v Bob Moses>are capable of thinking. <v Bob Moses>They are capable of expressing their own thoughts. <v Bob Moses>They do have thoughts which are important. <v Eduardo Cong>And notice all of all of the paperwork and laws and all the art <v Eduardo Cong>and everything. <v Eduardo Cong>It's called creativity see? <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>You know, we've assumed too much in education. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>That we've got to bring a kid into school, put a brain in him, <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>give them an experience. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>And then teach him. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>The kid comes in with a brain.
<v Dr. Dorothy Strong>The kid comes in with some very valuable experiences. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>Now, let's use them and let the student use that <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>as a means for building an instructional program. <v narrator>There's an emerging understanding that outside the classroom, in any and every <v narrator>community, there are resources and experiences to be exploited to improve teaching <v narrator>and learning. <v B.J. Walker>I believe that children, if they are going to learn and <v B.J. Walker>learn at the levels that they will need to learn at for the 21st century, which <v B.J. Walker>become a cliche nowadays, really, they need it today. <v B.J. Walker>If they're going to be able to learn, they are going to have to have <v B.J. Walker>an instructional approach that respects what they know and <v B.J. Walker>how they live their lives and that respects the communities that they're a part of. <v teacher 5>I glued some pictures. <v student>By going out into the community you become part of your community instead of
<v student>just something that happens to be in it and <v student>you have a greater understanding for what you're trying to learn <v student>and your surroundings and you become a part of community while you're still in school and <v student>instead of get thrown at it when you graduate. <v teacher>What I'm doing here today, we're having a test. <v narrator>Testing perhaps no single education issue is so hotly debated. <v narrator>Yet amid the debate, there was a point of agreement. <v narrator>The point is to accurately understand how much knowledge and know how a student has <v narrator>not how well individuals test. <v teacher>It's not open book or open notes, OK, because you don't need it. <v teacher>Because you are all brilliant. <v Ted Kimbrough>The fact of the matter is, is that we're testing society. <v Ted Kimbrough>Because what do they do? The local newspapers, they print, the tests they print the <v Ted Kimbrough>California achievement test scores. <v Ted Kimbrough>They print, they Iowa scores. <v Ted Kimbrough>People run to the papers and they look and see where the school is. <v Ted Kimbrough>They go to the school and they ask what's happening in our school?
<v Ted Kimbrough>Why are our scores down in our school? Why aren't they up? <v Ted Kimbrough>It is an issue whether we like it or not. <v Ted Kimbrough>The best way to address that issue is performance <v Ted Kimbrough>is absolutely performance. <v Don Kiener>We need to to allow kids to express their intelligence and their knowledge <v Don Kiener>in ways that are real to them, in ways that allow them to use their strengths. <v Don Kiener>Without ignoring the weaknesses. <v Curt Shaw>You know, we can test kids to death. But what's a mean? <v Curt Shaw>You know, what is it you want him to know? I think that's the point we're at in education <v Curt Shaw>now. What do we want them to know? <v narrator>What do we want them to know? <v narrator>What do we want students to accomplish? <v narrator>Perhaps it's this. We want students who have acquired a love and mastery of <v narrator>learning not just for primary and secondary education, but for the lifetime <v narrator>of learning that lies ahead. <v Pam McBrayne>I do think that as a nation, we need to encourage <v Pam McBrayne>lifelong learning, because if the nation is to be productive and if
<v Pam McBrayne>we are to succeed as a nation, it will be through an educated <v Pam McBrayne>population. <v Tom Abbot>We don't need to take the potato farmer out of the field and train him to be a bookkeeper <v Tom Abbot>or her. We need to help them become a better potato farmer. <v Tom Abbot>And education has a role to play in that. <v narrator>America's business community knows all too well that educated, resourceful employees <v narrator>are essential for competing in the global marketplace. <v narrator>Which is why so many companies are providing opportunities for their employees to <v narrator>continue their education. <v Steve Miner>It's not as, as Wilford Brimley says, the right <v Steve Miner>thing to do. It's the only thing to do. <v Steve Miner>We recognize that. So is it done at a pure benevolence? <v Steve Miner>Absolutely not. It's done because it's required. <v Steve Miner>It's an it's an absolute necessity today and in the future. <v Pam McBrayne>Although many of our students returned to school because they're interested in obtaining <v Pam McBrayne>a new job or a better job.
<v Pam McBrayne>One of the greatest benefits is that it has broadened their horizons and a whole array <v Pam McBrayne>of areas that they never dreamt they'd have an interest in. <v Steve Puiia>It's not just the getting the degrees. <v Steve Puiia>It's it's learning, you know, the love of the learning <v Steve Puiia>and having a belief in what you know, what you learn and actually internalizing it. <v narrator>If learning is critical to meeting the future needs of American society, society <v narrator>is learning that it has to address the wide array of needs that can stop learning in its <v narrator>tracks. <v narrator>This is the school of the future, not just a name, but in structure, spirit <v narrator>and the services it provides. <v narrator>Here under one roof are the social, psychological and medical support services <v narrator>that were once spread all over town. <v narrator>They are coordinated here not just for the learners, but for all the people in the <v narrator>community who touched the lives of the learners. <v teacher>The Meeting some of the things you need to do. <v Patty Radle>The school is the most stable institution in the
<v Patty Radle>family's life. If they're already coming here, if they're already involved anyway and <v Patty Radle>it's already such a stable institution, why not try to build up <v Patty Radle>the family support around that system where parents don't have to go here and there? <v Patty Radle>And you're already dealing with a staff of people who know a lot about the children, who <v Patty Radle>know a lot about them as a family. <v Rod Radle>The parents start taking more ownership and they start coming in asking questions. <v Rod Radle>They start coming up with new resources as well as new suggestions for <v Rod Radle>change within the school environment. <v narrator>All parents are a valuable resource, regardless of their educational background. <v Linda Escobedo>They may have a higher education, but you are going to learn this at a university. <v Linda Escobedo>I may flunk their test, but they're going to flunk my test in the streets <v Linda Escobedo>so I could use them and they could use me. <v teacher>So everything at home going pretty good now? <v student>Yeah. <v narrator>What America is recognizing is that the education of our students requires shared <v narrator>responsibility by all members of the community.
<v teacher>Be yourself. You are going to be role models just as I am as a role model for people in <v teacher>high school. Now, you are also role models for people in the elementary school. <v teacher>If they see that you have a negative attitude, they're also going to take that attitude <v teacher>against drugs, against gangs, against violence. <v teacher 6>All I can do is, is tell you what the experiences I've had and what- and the things <v teacher 6>I've run into. <v narrator>Programs like cities and schools also coordinate the contributions of the adults of <v narrator>the community to provide students with the sense that adults care about them and want <v narrator>them to succeed in school and in life. <v student>You know? <v student>Just no way.... <v student>[laughs] <v student>Real job that is. <v teacher>We're gonna go see Tony now. Say hi Tony. <v Tony>How you doing? <v child>Fine. <v Tony>Have a seat. <v narrator>An African proverb suggests that it takes a village to raise and educate a child <v narrator>by remembering that people are revolutionizing American education. <v narrator>They're doing it through the power of grassroots community involvement. <v speaker>Whatever it is that you decide as a group that is important <v speaker>to you as a center committee.
<v speaker>You work on the long range plans for the year, and that's what you're going to have for. <v B.J. Walker>It is about communities at its heart. <v B.J. Walker>It is about really getting out and having parents <v B.J. Walker>and communities mobilize and work together and think about <v B.J. Walker>what it is they want out of their children and want for the children in that community. <v Jolene Ardolino>It didn't blossom because a principal or an administrator downtown says, <v Jolene Ardolino>well, we're gonna do this, this and this, and this is gonna be an incredible school. <v Jolene Ardolino>It just sort of grew. It's sort of like with an idea and people just <v Jolene Ardolino>really saw the validity of it. <v Jolene Ardolino>Everybody knew that that's what was needed to make it happen. <v Pat Snay>We have broken a lot of traditions and probably broken a lot of rules, too. <v Pat Snay>We always say if you can break a rule, and if it's going to help a kid and nobody knows <v Pat Snay>about it hasn't been broken. <v narrator>These are the faces of change in America. <v narrator>People making changes for the better. <v narrator>Changes that can reverse the erosion of village sensibility in contemporary America.
<v narrator>In upcoming programs, you'll meet people from all over the country who are taking the <v narrator>first important steps of renewal. <v narrator>In Program two for the children, you'll see how the people of Leadville, Colorado, <v narrator>turned adversity into opportunity. <v speaker 15>The children here were found to be wanting, particularly in the preschool <v speaker 15>ages, because there was no one home to take care of them. <v narrator>They realized their children were at risk and focused their energy and resources <v narrator>on meeting the needs of their infants, toddlers and preschoolers. <v speaker 16>We were extremely naive about what we could do and thought we could do anything. <v speaker 16>We did. <v narrator>And there's the fence. <v narrator>And the third program, you'll travel to Dade County, Florida, to meet some people who <v narrator>care. They were concerned about violence, drugs and human neglect in their schools <v narrator>and their community. They're finding that the best way to achieve safe, peaceful schools <v narrator>is through peaceful homes and minds.
<v speaker 17>The truth is, it's all in security and tall kids acting out of a scared, insecure <v speaker 17>state of mind. <v speaker 18>We have to educate the child to the fact that they have a support item here at school, <v speaker 18>not just the principal, but the teachers, the counselors, the cafeteria lady. <v speaker 18>The person they feel most comfortable in talking to. <v speaker 18>Every adult in our center is a counselor. <v narrator>In Program four, you'll see how this train helps Chicago's sixth graders understand <v narrator>the concepts of algebra. Seeing first hand with math and science have to do with the real <v narrator>world. <v speaker 19>What we're doing is bridging the gap from arithmetic to algebra. <v speaker 19>The train line is going to eventually represent the number line on a coordinate <v speaker 19>system and the stops are going to translate to integers. <v narrator>The accomplishments of the students of Bell, South Dakota, can be seen throughout the <v narrator>community. But how do their academic accomplishments stack up with their peers across the <v narrator>country? <v speaker 20>OK, how about the Baltic Sea? That should be pretty easy.
<v speaker 20>We've already covered Western Europe. We have that one? <v narrator>The Community is struggling with this basic question. <v narrator>What do they want their young people to learn? <v speaker 21>We are really struggling with this whole idea of alternative assessment. <v speaker 21>The experimentation part is not experimentation with unproven <v speaker 21>ideas. It's just experimentation with getting teachers <v speaker 21>and students used to a new way of doing business. <v narrator>In Albuquerque, New Mexico, teen mothers have a child on one hip and textbooks <v narrator>on the other. <v narrator>In San Diego, an alternative school seems to be doing everything differently. <v Eduardo Cong>I thought this was a weird place. <v student>It says you're that's the name of the school. <v narrator>Both schools have shown success not only in keeping young people in school, but preparing <v narrator>them for life. <v teacher>Our seniors who are graduating are stepping out into a world which offers many <v teacher>challenges, but a few answers. <v teacher>You're going to be challenged to define their role in society as well as what <v teacher>contribution they will make to improve the world that we live in.
<v teacher>I wish them well in this lifelong journey. <v narrator>From remote islands off the coast to factories on the mainland. <v narrator>Adult learners in Maine are preparing for their economic futures and experiencing <v narrator>the joy of learning for life. <v speaker 22>Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work so I could just take classes. <v speaker 22>But that's not real. In this day and age. <v speaker 22>So I feel fortunate that I'm able to be <v speaker 22>able to go to school and work and have it blend together. <v speaker 22>It's like one helps the other. <v narrator>From coast to coast, these regular folks have borrowed the best ideas that educational <v narrator>research has to offer. They are revitalizing American education and in <v narrator>the process, making extraordinary gains for their children, their communities <v narrator>and for themselves. <v speaker 23>I may not have silver and gold to give to my children, but I invest <v speaker 23>the love, a mother love, a friendship.
<v speaker 23>Unconditional love. I learned unconditional love. <v speaker 24>It's one kid at a time. It's one program at a time. <v speaker 24>It's one community at a time. <v speaker 25>You keep dreaming. I think the thing keeps expanding, but it expands within the context <v speaker 25>of each individual community. I think it's going to have a little different design. <v speaker 25>But I think that element of dreaming, what you can put together, is a very important <v speaker 25>element. And it doesn't have to be exactly the same in every community. <v speaker 26>It takes somebody that is an entrepreneur. <v speaker 26>It takes somebody identifying the need and saying it's a problem, let's go solve <v speaker 26>it. Uh. It Takes somebody to go do it. <v narrator>For American education to succeed. <v narrator>It will take all of us to do it. <v narrator>And now is the time to begin.
<v announcer>And Learning for All is funded by a grant from the U.S. <v announcer>Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. <v announcer>And Learning for All is funded by a grant from the U.S. <v announcer>Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. <v narrator>The topic is algebra. <v narrator>Which side of the equation are you on? <v interviewee 1>Algebra was... ugh, it was tough. <v interviewee 2>That was one of my better subjects. <v interviewee 3>And I- really had a hard time with algebra. <v interviewee 4>It helped me out a lot. <v interviewee 5>I love algebra.
<v narrator>There may be two kinds of people in the world, those who got it and those <v narrator>who didn't. And we're not talking about how you did on tests. <v narrator>We're talking about getting. <v interviewee 6>I was a good student, but I had problems in algebra. <v interviewee 6>I didn't see where it fit into the scheme of things. <v narrator>Although we may not understand how we all know that algebra and the advanced <v narrator>studies in sciences that derive from it have everything to do with finance, <v narrator>economics, engineering, high tech research. <v narrator>Even art and music. <v narrator>The three Rs that worked for us in the industrial age are not enough to tackle the <v narrator>problems and challenges we face in the information age. <v narrator>So we must add a fourth R, reasoning. <v narrator>Then factor in working together and thinking critically. <v interviewee 7>I had really good math teachers and did really well all the way through.
<v narrator>How well we were taught had a lot to do with whether we were turned on or off to math and <v narrator>science. <v interviewee 8>I had Miss Vanderbilt. I'll never forget her name. <v interviewee 8>She made it very easy for me and I enjoyed it. <v interviewee 8>We would say, well, what do we need to learn this for? And she said, it's for you to <v interviewee 8>think logically how to solve problems. <v narrator>And we've got problems and challenges, infrastructure, unemployment, <v narrator>transportation, the environment, trade deficits. <v teacher>Dice las direcciones, directions. Mira con la vista. <v narrator>The solutions will require creativity, effort, sound reasoning <v narrator>and the contributions of all. <v narrator>Tomorrow won't tolerate wasted potential. <v narrator>Math will be the language of solutions. <v narrator>The untapped resources of women and minorities will need to be brought to the fore, and <v narrator>math teachers will need to generate and sustain the natural curiosity that kids <v narrator>have for how things work. <v narrator>This is a story about a journey toward excellence in math, science
<v narrator>and technology. <v narrator>We w on't show you the end of the journey. <v narrator>Rather the beginning. <v narrator>It's a beginning of excitement, of enthusiasm and of opening <v narrator>the way to more. <v narrator>The beginning is algebra. <v intro>You're the main character. Scientist and the time travel. <v intro>[inaudible]. This year's outstanding senior graduate goes to Mary Sue. <v intro>Right on everything you shared is something we'll go after. <v intro>Using this formula the Mayans predicted eclipses with extreme accuracy. <v intro>What I've learned is the ability to win at life.
<v narrator>This is the sixth grade class from Foster Park Elementary, one of 19 Chicago <v narrator>schools to adopt the Algebra Project. <v narrator>Over the last 10 years, 14 school districts around the country have taken on <v narrator>this approach for teaching and learning math. <v narrator>The train ride they're about to take makes this a very important day in their future <v narrator>exploration into algebra. <v Sylvia Turner>The basis of the trip is the personal experience that they can use. <v Sylvia Turner>So we're going to build upon this experience for approximately six <v Sylvia Turner>months in the curriculum. <v Sylvia Turner>Now, their question is, what does this have to do with math and algebra? <v Sylvia Turner>They don't even understand that at this point themselves. <v narrator>But that's OK. The teachers know what this trip and the station stops have to do with
<v narrator>algebra. The assignment for the students is to have fun and pay attention <v narrator>to where they go on this train ride. <v teacher>Make sketches of the old stop each time we stop. <v student>Show it to me, show it to me! <v student>Show me what you sketched. <v student>I've been recording stops, writing down, writing 'em down. <v student>I'm gonna get busy. <v student>It's fun because <v student>we get to, like, be in groups, work together and stuff. <v student>All the teachers are scared we might embarass them or something... but I don't think that's true. <v student>We ate at the very top. <v Speaker>[kids talking] <v Amelia Lewis>What we're doing is bridging the gap from arithmetic to algebra and <v Amelia Lewis>the train line is going to eventually represent the number line on a coordinate <v Amelia Lewis>system and the stops are going to translate to integers.
<v narrator>Integers, coordinates. <v narrator>All that's happening here is that these students are being introduced to the concept that <v narrator>math is more than just counting or multiplying. <v narrator>Algebra is how many and which way. <v narrator>And eventually from the real life experience this trip provides. <v narrator>These students will make their own individual conceptual connections. <v Amelia Lewis>I have an intermediate algebra book I opened to page one for them and there on page <v Amelia Lewis>one is the integer line. <v Amelia Lewis>And they all know what it is. And they are. <v Amelia Lewis>They're wonderful. They're thrilled. Oh, yeah. This is algebra, we're doing algebra. <v narrator>This trip is more than a clever way of suggesting the number line to budding <v narrator>mathematicians. It's a demonstration of a philosophy that all children <v narrator>can grasp the fundamentals of higher math and the scientific method when such <v narrator>ideas are presented in a relevant way. <v Speaker>[kids talking inaudibly]
<v B.J. Walker>If they're going to be able to learn, they are going to have to have <v B.J. Walker>an instructional approach that respects what they know and <v B.J. Walker>how they live their lives and that respects the community that they are part of. <v Bob Moses>What you have to do with the mathematics is figure out what <v Bob Moses>does the child bring to the mathematical table? <v Bob Moses>So you've got to get into the child's experience. <v Bob Moses>And here we're just talking about everyday, common, ordinary <v Bob Moses>experiences that children have growing up in the city or in <v Bob Moses>the rural areas. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>We've assumed too much in education. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>That we've got to come into this. We've got to bring a kid into school, put a brain <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>in him, give them an experience and then teach him. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>The Algebra Project says the kid comes in with a brain. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>The comes in with some very valuable experiences. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>Now let's use them and let the student use that
<v Dr. Dorothy Strong>as a means for building an instructional program. <v narrator>So how does a train ride or a trip to an art museum or any symbol around <v narrator>your neighborhood experience, get sixth graders to the higher principles of math? <v narrator>Well, first off, it makes it fun. <v Bob Moses>Because middle school students are still young and they still <v Bob Moses>feel that part of what is due them is fun. <v Bob Moses>And these experiences have to be tapped into as <v Bob Moses>the entry level for the discussion of mathematical concepts. <v Bob Moses>That is, you've got to reach down to the idea that mathematics is a human <v Bob Moses>subject. It's people who do it. <v Bob Moses>It comes out of human culture. <v narrator>After the train ride, students work on art projects.
<v narrator>They make pictures of what they saw, where they went, where they stopped. <v narrator>Everyone has different versions. But the class eventually agrees to what happened that <v narrator>day. <v narrator>The teacher's job is to help the students come to that agreement. <v narrator>As in many classrooms across the country, the role of the teacher in this algebra class <v narrator>is undergoing fundamental change. <v Bob Moses>The traditional way of teaching mathematics, at <v Bob Moses>particularly middle school, is to deliver information to the students. <v Bob Moses>So the teacher is the center of the classroom and they think, well, the person who knows <v Bob Moses>the correct answer is the teacher. <v Bob Moses>So this puts them in a frame of mind, which is very different from where they should be, <v Bob Moses>which is not what is the teacher thinking? <v Bob Moses>But what am I thinking? <v Bob Moses>That is their main job is first to find out what am I thinking <v Bob Moses>and then how do I share what I'm thinking with my other students and with
<v Bob Moses>the teacher? <v teacher>And that's what we want to see. The similarities among what we saw and thought was <v teacher>important and that which only one of us saw. <v teacher>Who will volunteer to read what they wrote? <v Bob Moses>For teachers to do this, then first they have to have the attitude <v Bob Moses>that what they are looking for in the children is actually <v Bob Moses>there, present in children, that children are capable <v Bob Moses>of thinking. They are capable of expressing their own thoughts. <v student>It was a fun trip. I'm glad I went. <v teacher>Angel, would you like to read yours? <v student>When we went on the algebra project trip, we made 13 stops to get there. <v narrator>This is the sixth grade algebra project class at Kosciuszko Elementary. <v narrator>They've completed their artwork and are now working in groups to compose written reports <v narrator>about the trip. <v teacher>Let's start with the corner person and going around. <v teacher>And then you tell the highlight to your group.
<v teacher>For instance, give me a highlight from your trip. <v Dolores Brendel>It's easier to take chances when six of you are in the group then taking a chance <v Dolores Brendel>by yourself. So in that respect, they will go one step further in their group than they <v Dolores Brendel>might do on their own. <v Diane Czerwinski> The way that feeds into the Algebra Project is that that's what <v Diane Czerwinski>we want them to get out of math. Given a math problem, there is a variety of ways <v Diane Czerwinski>to solve that problem. Each one being equally valid. <v teacher>Are there many things on only one list or have you all noticed the same things? <v Diane Czerwinski>That the teacher has to be clear enough to be able to give up some traditional <v Diane Czerwinski>control and empower their students. <v student>Did anybody mention the Sears tower? <v narrator>So what's different for the teacher? <v Dolores Brendel>Noise level. The noise level is high. <v Dolores Brendel>They are talking all the time. <v Dolores Brendel>And we have to get used to the fact that the fact that it's noisy doesn't necessarily <v Dolores Brendel>mean they're not learning. That's a very untraditional. <v teacher>Go around. <v narrator>To appreciate what a teacher like this is going through.
<v narrator>Understand that this isn't the only subject she teaches. <v narrator>And math may not be one of her favorites. <v narrator>For math performance to improve in the United States, math instruction has to improve, <v narrator>which is something the new approaches for math and science are addressing head on. <v Ted Kimbrough>It removes the barriers not only for students, but for teachers. <v Ted Kimbrough>It removes some of the fear that teachers have had in the past in the field <v Ted Kimbrough>of mathematics. Was easy to have ownership once you get past the intimidation, <v Ted Kimbrough>we're saying we're going to teach sixth grade children algebra and you're going <v Ted Kimbrough>to have to be a teacher and you're going to teach other teachers, but you're going to <v Ted Kimbrough>learn how to do it yourself and here we go. <v Bob Moses>The role of the teacher is so critical. <v Bob Moses>As we found classes where the teachers had been teaching in a traditional <v Bob Moses>mode. Where the students have been sitting in their desks and <v Bob Moses>facing doing drill and so forth, who have made <v Bob Moses>a decision, often with the help of an administrator who wants
<v Bob Moses>the school to change because the teachers really do need support <v Bob Moses>and help to do this. <v Bob Moses>And you found overnight turnaround. <v Bob Moses>I mean, cause if the teacher can let go a little, <v Bob Moses>right? Then and they begin to get a different response <v Bob Moses>from the kids, then it can feed on itself and you get a very <v Bob Moses>wonderful kind of building. <v narrator>The students are, again, carefully assembling all the details of their exclusion <v narrator>and something else is happening in their own words. <v narrator>They are describing movements, positions, relationships over the course <v narrator>of the coming weeks. These informal descriptions will develop into the of words <v narrator>and symbols of the language of algebra. <v Bob Moses>So this process of engaging some <v Bob Moses>physical event and then working with it through pictures <v Bob Moses>and two levels of language. <v Bob Moses>And finally, with symbolic representations, because we have the students
<v Bob Moses>draw their own symbols so that they understand that you've got to demystify <v Bob Moses>these symbols. Right. Because people who made them. <v teacher>Alright. Now, let's look at the fourth concept, which is called the mode. <v teacher>All right. List each number as many times. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>Math is doable. I don't know if I've ever met anybody who can't do math. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>If taught properly. And so I'm excited about this approach because it makes <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>mathematics accessible and makes it usable by everyday persons. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>Math is not the domain or reserved for people who only have special mental abilities. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>It's just not the case. It's a myth. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>One of the things about the Man-Sized Korean pipeline is that the <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>Education Testing Service has told us that there is a direct relationship <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>between success in college and completing <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>geometry. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>Well, you can't get to geometry without algebra. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>Clearly, you cannot have scientific progress without a mathematical foundation
<v Dr. Eric Hamilton>in the school curriculum for youngsters and youngsters who don't make it through algebra <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>or geometry, never wind up going into scientific or mathematical careers. <v teacher>The thing we're going to do today is make do measurement and in make <v teacher>do measurement. What we're going to do is measure something where we don't have an <v teacher>instrument to measure with. So right now, we need to measure the length of this table. <v teacher>That you're sitting at. So, you need-. <v narrator>Alonza Everage works with the Chicago Algebra Project. <v narrator>And this is one of the meetings he has with parents of sixth graders who are in the pilot <v narrator>program. That's Alonzo's daughter. <v narrator>In sessions like this, parents go through in an afternoon with their children, work <v narrator>through the semester. Right now, they're working on acquiring their own understanding <v narrator>of the difference between the algebraic ideas of equality and equivalence. <v parent>I said Yes, because the same they both serve the same purpose to measure the table. <v parent>OK. But that doesn't mean equal. <v parent>I did-. <v parent>So they're not equal. <v parent>So when you [inaduible] used for the same thing.
<v parent>But they're not equal to each other. <v parent>Right. <v Alonza Everage>And in the Algebra project. And this is one of the first units we looked at and where <v Alonza Everage>we talk about equality and equivalence. <v Alonza Everage>And as we go through the unit, we will be coming back again and again to <v Alonza Everage>this whole notion of what is equivalence, what is equality. <v Alonza Everage>And In the classroom students are oftentimes puzzled <v Alonza Everage>about what is the difference between equivalence and equality. <v Alonza Everage>So they're going to wrestle with this idea over and over again until they come <v Alonza Everage>to terms with what it means for them. <v Alonza Everage>And in the process-. <v narrator>Parental involvement is important to the Algebra Project for a couple of reasons. <v narrator>they want to demystify algebra for anyone who didn't get it back in school. <v narrator>They want to equip the parents with the principles at work so they can help out at home. <v narrator>And they want to change expectations of parents who may be quick to concede that their <v narrator>child isn't cut out for math. <v Cleeta Ryals>I think all parents, no matter what their educational base or level is, I think <v Cleeta Ryals>they want.
<v Cleeta Ryals>And this is as broad as I can make it for their child to be successful. <v Cleeta Ryals>So that means I want my child to have everything that it takes to be successful. <v narrator>And what do Algebra Project graduates think? <v Terrance Tarver>Math is kind of one of my middle subjects. <v Terrance Tarver>But I really love, like, academic speeches and stuff. <v Terrance Tarver>But math, since I've been in the algebra project, has really brightened up my <v Terrance Tarver>grades and stuff. <v James Newell>We learned about integers. <v James Newell>And a lot of other stuff that was fun. <v Tiffany Jackson>I like it. It's very fun and I think that other people would like it too because. <v narrator>The Algebra Project has clearly had an impact on its students. <v Tiffany Jackson>Oh, where it really gets you to it. <v Tiffany Jackson>And when I did it, I got into it and I really enjoyed it. <v Monique Smith>I think I improved a year in my math. <v Monique Smith>And the- algebra, since we had the Algebra Project. <v Karen Carlson>In our school, one out of every six children made two years progress in mathematics. <v Karen Carlson>So I think that's really significant. <v Karen Carlson>And the other more significant thing to me is not the test scores, but the children's
<v Karen Carlson>attitude. And in our seventh grade this year. <v Karen Carlson>These are the children who had the algebra project last year. <v Karen Carlson>You know, Their favorite subject in their reports is mathematics. <v Karen Carlson>And I think that that's the key because they see it as something that they can do and <v Karen Carlson>they can be good at. <v Bob Moses>For me, really. There's only one sort of measure which <v Bob Moses>counts in this that is and it's unfortunate in <v Bob Moses>that it's a long range measure. <v Bob Moses>And the question is, do the kids go through the college prep math sequence <v Bob Moses>in high school? And after that. <v Bob Moses>Do they reach college ready to take college <v Bob Moses>courses in mathematics for which they can get college credit? <v teacher>I'm gonna pass you our paper. <v teacher>Which is the answer sheet make sure-. <v narrator>The larger point, says Moses goes beyond college courses to <v narrator>a question of citizenship. <v speaker 27>That is, we are now faced with situations where <v speaker 27>really significant numbers of people are sort of
<v speaker 27>marginalized around the citizenship question. <v speaker 27>They are really not functioning as citizens. <v speaker 27>And this, of course, really threatens the whole Democratic base of the society. <v speaker 28>Now, the question is, how does the Algebra project move forward? <v speaker 28>We already have 19 schools, which means we are only reaching about 3000 <v speaker 28>kids right now. Three thousand kids, mostly sixth, seventh and eighth graders. <v narrator>The Algebra Project is making its way into more Chicago schools and other systems <v narrator>across the country because of meetings like this. <v B.J. Walker>The Algebra Project is more than about education. <v B.J. Walker>It is about communities. At its heart, it is about <v B.J. Walker>really getting out and having parents and communities <v B.J. Walker>mobilize and work together and think about what it is they want out of <v B.J. Walker>the children and want for the children in that community. <v Emma Lozano>What's at stake is, and what's been at stake is what
<v Emma Lozano>our children are going to have for the future. They're going to all be or have mc jobs <v Emma Lozano>working at McDonald's, just pressing the buttons. <v Emma Lozano>Or are they gonna be able to be working on computers and being able to do the high tech <v Emma Lozano>things that are happening? <v James Deanes>These young people are getting exposed to algebra, math, <v James Deanes>logical thinking at a very, very early age that other people take for granted. <v James Deanes>And once they're exposed to it, they're saying, well, this isn't so hard, <v James Deanes>I can do this, why are people saying that I'm an underachiever when the fact <v James Deanes>of the matter is I just wasn't exposed to it? <v James Deanes>You know, that's empowerment. I can take this this mystery <v James Deanes>and I open up the door that I could- I understand. <v Slim Coleman>Algebra is a civil right. <v Slim Coleman>In the sixth grade, if we're in a ballot to make sure that our children <v Slim Coleman>in public schools are not marginalized out of the society. <v narrator>Since 1988, Illinois law has given the communities local control
<v narrator>over what and how subjects are taught in their schools. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>It starts all the way in the community with the community saying to the schools, <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>hey, we got a good idea. Let's see, can we make it happen? <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>And community and school are so interwoven that it's hard to <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>tell the difference. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>The choice is made by the teachers, the principal, the local <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>school council, the community group. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>They all have to say we want it to happen. <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>And if they don't say they want it to happen, then we say that's a school that is <v Dr. Dorothy Strong>not yet ready for the Algebra Project. <v parent>To get the education so our children can compete. <v parent>But that's where the school system comes in. <v narrator>To be ready to take an active role in shaping their schools, parents have to come to <v narrator>a consensus about what it is they believe their children have to know for them to <v narrator>prosper. <v Cleeta Ryals>The people here in Chicago that I think are interested in education <v Cleeta Ryals>and in in Chicago public schools are interested in more and more
<v Cleeta Ryals>than just a group of people being elected to sit on a council. <v Cleeta Ryals>They're interested in those people <v Cleeta Ryals>participating in curriculum development. <v Cleeta Ryals>And I'm talking to say those people I mean, the people within the school participating in <v Cleeta Ryals>curriculum development, parents being a part of that. <v Cleeta Ryals>The hospital down the street being a part of that. <v Cleeta Ryals>The police department in the area being a part of that so that we have something <v Cleeta Ryals>com- in common. <v James Deanes>I guess I would say that this country, if it's going to <v James Deanes>to to remain a world power, has to to <v James Deanes>rethink the way it educates all children. <v James Deanes>And it has to give resources as well as lip service <v James Deanes>to programs. And nothing is more valuable <v James Deanes>than a competitively educated group of citizens. <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>Unfortunately, in the United States right now, underrepresented minorities, primarily
<v Dr. Eric Hamilton>African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, are underrepresented in science, <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>engineering and mathematics by a four to 10 fold factor, depending on the discipline that <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>you're examining. So looking at the workforce as it will <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>be coming about or emerging in the next 10 years, well over half of <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>the new workforce will be minorities and women groups that have been traditionally <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>underrepresented. So it's important and vital actually to increase the representation <v Dr. Eric Hamilton>of these populations. <v narrator>Could it be that this young man will work on the team that revolutionizes transportation? <v narrator>Will this young woman collaborate on the answer to the nuclear waste dilemma? <v narrator>Even with more day to day problems, these children will be better prepared for life in <v narrator>the 21st century because of how they're learning today. <v narrator>And coast to coast communities are making sure they equip their children with the <v narrator>necessary tools and skills they need to reshape their world. <v B.J. Walker>The Algebra Project is a movement. <v B.J. Walker>It is an agent of change because it for the first time
<v B.J. Walker>involves communities in defining what it is that their children are going <v B.J. Walker>to learn and how they are going to fit into the world of tomorrow. <v B.J. Walker>That's something education in this country has not been doing for children of color, for <v B.J. Walker>disadvantaged children, for academically under achieving children. <v B.J. Walker>Traditionally, we've thought there's a group of kids who will make it. <v B.J. Walker>They will be the doctors and the lawyers of tomorrow, and the rest of us will be <v B.J. Walker>something else. The Algebra Project says there is no child who is not eligible <v B.J. Walker>to be a doctor and lawyer of tomorrow, and that's change. <v narrator>The Algebra Project is not the only vehicle pointed in the direction of excellence in <v narrator>math and science education. <v narrator>A lot of schools and communities have discovered the same ingredients to support and <v narrator>stimulate their children as they learn even the most complex of subjects. <v narrator>And they all share this common denominator. <v narrator>The assumption that all children can learn and participate. <v narrator>And if they want to, they will.
...And Learning For All
Episode Number
No. 1
What's Ahead: Where Learning is Going in America
Producing Organization
KRMA-TV (Television station : Denver, Colo.)
Contributing Organization
Rocky Mountain PBS (Denver, Colorado)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Series Description
"'AND LEARNING OFR ALL is a 7-part series at the center of a national effort to help communities further educational reform. Program 1, 'What's Ahead', explains the purpose of the series, and each of the succeeding programs focuses on each of the six national educational goals. Each episode features communities from around the U.S. which have had proven success with innovative educational programs. "In addition to the series, the partners developed and distributed Community Action Packets which contain a Community Organizing Handbook; Resource Directory; and Program Guide. When distributed via satellite to public television stations and via cable to cable systems, the partners also produced two teleconferences -- one for community facilitators and another in the form of a national town meeting. "Target audiences were educators, parents and grandparents, civic leaders, business people, students, and public and private officials -- everyone in the community with a responsibility for strengthening education. "The project is unusual in that it involved a partnership between public television, cable distributors and educational agencies. The partners were KRMA-TV, Pacific Mountain Network, the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications, Colorado 2000 Communities, Mid-continent Region Educational Laboratory, Mind Extension University, and the National School Public Relations Association, with federal funds from the Office of Education Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. "KRMA is submitting the 1st and 4th episodes from the 7-part series for consideration. Episode 1 explains the importance of education reform and introduces the six following episodes. Episode 4 was shot primarily in Chicago and features a unique program for teaching math."-- 1993 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: KRMA-TV (Television station : Denver, Colo.)
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Rocky Mountain PBS (KRMA)
Identifier: cpb-aacip-831676d6962 (Filename)
Format: VHS
Generation: Copy
Duration: 00:26:40
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Duration: 0:26:40
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Chicago: “...And Learning For All; No. 1; What's Ahead: Where Learning is Going in America,” 1993, Rocky Mountain PBS, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “...And Learning For All; No. 1; What's Ahead: Where Learning is Going in America.” 1993. Rocky Mountain PBS, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: ...And Learning For All; No. 1; What's Ahead: Where Learning is Going in America. Boston, MA: Rocky Mountain PBS, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from