Innovative Education Reform Guarantees Success for Every Student

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True educational reform fundamentally requires schools that no longer feel compelled to demand standardization and regimentation, but schools that accept -- and even encourage -- genuine educational diversity and individuality.

It is not a secret that the education system in this country is failing miserably. The model now is to push for continued formal schooling for as long as possible, meaning that all students be prepared for and go to college. Seeing school as an end in itself, the national demands for statewide standards is putting pressure on an educational system that has become more about statistics and bottom lines than genuine learning.

There is a growing number of teachers, students, parents and administrators that are questioning the motives and practicality of the traditional educational system including programs such as No Child Left Behind. While many students can learn in the traditional model of teaching, over 50% cannot -- creating a significant problem of “lost souls in the system,” with children falling through the cracks of unrealized potential. The growing consensus is that change must happen now, and it needs to begin at the level where it matters most -- in the classroom between teacher and student.

One of these revolutionary and hopeful educators is Mark Kennedy, author of “Lessons from the Hawk” (ISBN 1885580053). Throughout Kennedy’s career, he has been asked to teach some of the most hard to reach students leading to the development of this mindful, practical and creative strategy. With his proclaimed mission to “Speak and work towards fostering hope in adolescents and those who care for them,” Kennedy has reworked the complex philosophies and styles of the aging traditional model creating a new innovative approach to teaching/learning. Watching a hawk circling a field was the inspiration and impetus Kennedy needed to develop his Four Perspective concept -- a learning model that could work for “all teachers and all students all the time,” assures Kennedy.

“I realized the hawk was seeing the same thing from myriad perspectives almost simultaneously, while I was rooted in just one. It dawned on me that an entire class of students positioned around the classroom could represent the different points of view of the hawk, with many being different from the single view of the teacher,” explains Kennedy. In “Lessons from the Hawk,” teachers will find their own personal learning perspective and learn to identify and use the unique perspective of the students. Sharon Bolle, Administrator of Student Services for San Bernardino County states “This is a book that gives educators a cohesive, practical method for reaching all students in the classroom while taking into account your own style as a teacher as well as the individual differences between students.”

Proven effective in targeting the existing education system, Kennedy’s four perspective concept also has direct implications far beyond the traditional classroom. “Lessons from the Hawk” is set to optimize the unique home schooling environment and revolutionize parenting by reframing the parent-child relationship. “We are all lifelong learners and this book has implications for many areas of life,” concludes Kennedy.

Kennedy is currently an alternative education teacher in San Bernardino County, California, adjunct professor at Chapman University, Ontario Academic Center (on hiatus), and Chief Instructor for the Kempo Kung Fu Martial Arts Team in Southern California (Kennedy holds a 3rd degree Black Belt). He has also served as an acting principal, lead teacher, mentor teacher, master teacher, chair and visiting team member for many self-study and strategic planning focus groups and action teams, and is a CTA statewide trainer of trainers in Gang Awareness and Self Esteem. Kennedy was selected as the 2000 Teacher of the Year by the Inland Empire Council for the Social Studies, and the 2003 Alternative Education Teacher of the Year by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. His first book, “Lessons from the Hawk” (ISBN 1885580053) can be purchased at online bookstores. You can reach him through his website .


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Irene Watson