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Archive for November, 2008
Review of First National Green Charter Schools Conference November 22nd, 2008

The First National Green Charter Schools Conference took place November 7 to 9 in Madison, Wisconsin. An opening address confirmed that 135 green charter schools have been identified alone in the U.S., and another hundred or two have yet to be identified. As the trend continues, we must be aware of what this will mean for education. Currently most curriculum systems have to be countable and testable. Since there is no one textbook or even library of textbooks that can teach students everything they need to know in the world, we instead need to move towards assessing a students level of success by how we teach children to aspire to ten qualities Professor Bill Cronon identified in his keynote speech, Only Connect. He argues these ten qualities mold a liberally educated person, though such a person does not even exist. For becoming a liberally educated person is not attainable, rather it is a way of life. To attain means to end the learning process.

The qualities that make a liberally educated person:
1. They listen and hear.
2. They read and understand.
3. They can talk with anyone.
4. They can write clearly, persuasively and movingly.
5. They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems.
6. They respect vigor.
7. They practice respect, humility, tolerance and self criticism.
8. They understand how to get things done in the world.
9. They nurture and empower the people around them.
10. They follow the words Only Connect to make sense of the world.

Professor Cronon concludes that this list can be embraced best, perhaps, by green charter schools aiming to leave the world a better place. To read the full article by Professor Cronon:

Ghana Green Schools November 22nd, 2008

Though individual classroom energy usage is usually limited to a single light bulb and a fan, schools in Accra, Ghana are enthusiastically embracing the Alliance’s Green Schools program. Working with the Green Schools program and the Ministry of Education, the Energy Foundation of Ghana identified 18 teachers from five schools who formed the Pilot for the Green Schools/Energy and Environmental Clubs (EECO) program.
Beginning in September, five private primary schools in Accra started offering an energy/environment after-school club using Green School’s hands-on activities to teach children about the role of energy in their lives and the connection between energy and the environment. Because the schools themselves use so little energy, the focus will be on teaching students ways to reduce energy usage at home. The Alliance-sponsored Energy Foundation will be implementing the program and working to expand it to more schools.
The pilot program will form the basis for a national roll out of the program at a later date. It is envisaged that material on energy conservation techniques will be included in primary and middle school curriculum to ensure that primary and middle school students nationwide gain access to energy efficiency knowledge and information. The Alliance can offer extensive experience in developing these materials.

Case Study Bonanza November 4th, 2008

Anyone need something to get excited about? DesignShare case studies, one of our most popular features, are multiplying at the speed of light! Beginning December 1, 2008 we’ll be featuring two case studies per month. That means more innovative ideas, more images, more firm profiles and more buzz over school facility design than ever before.

Interested in having your firm’s latest and greatest school building profiled? You can email me at I aim to pull together information on schools in places that have never been featured before, as well as areas that continue to make headway in creative design. Pushing the envelope is what we do best, and we’re happy to support firms’ efforts to do the same. Stay tuned and look for the next two case studies in the December 2008 e-newsletter!


What is DesignShare? DesignShare is the central address for the very best in educational facilities and their impact on the learning process. DesignShare provides an invaluable service as a facilitator of ideas and resources about best practices and innovation in schools from early childhood through the university level. Who is DesignShare’s audience? DesignShare reaches a truly global community of professionals. More than 150,000 architects, planners, educators, and facility decision makers visit the site each month. Architects who specify products for schools and universities make up over half of DesignShare’s total readership. Who are our sponsors?
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