Wednesday, September 2, 2009

21RST Century Learners!

[By Maeryta Medrano, AIA, LEED® AP, President]

This morning at my son's high school orientation, the dean shared some really inspiring thoughts about education and what the next year will be like for our students. He said the strategic vision for this year is to explore what it means to be a 21RST Century Learner. It struck me because we talk about that all the time at Gyroscope and we try to put strategies in place for our clients that will position all visitors to be 21RST Century Learners. That means technology has a role as does research into brain development, how the physical environment can contribute to positive learning behaviors and of course the social aspects of learning.

The dean went on to say, "Are we preparing our students for THEIR futures or OUR past?" It occurred to me that we in the museum field and especially in the history museums, historical societies and cultural organizations, need to ask ourselves that same question. Discussions with older stakeholders, board members and staff often emphasize how important it is to learn from the past but are we losing relevance for the next generation?

The young people I interact with at my son's school impress me with their real desire to make a difference in the world and to MAKE THEIR OWN HISTORY-NOW! We need to give them the tools and opportunities in school and in our museums to do just that.

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