Welcome to "Putting Schools to Work", a celebration of what happens when schools get out of the way and give students the freedom to affect real change. This consortium of like-minded institutions that focus on teaching leadership by allowing students to tackle real world problems and issues through research and human ecology projects serves as a model of what education can be, when schools get out of the way. The projects featured on this site were presented at the first Leadership in Education conference held at The Island School in the Spring of 2011. Putting Schools to Work is a component of a new Wilson Family Center for Leadership in Education funded by Floyd and Kim Wilson.
“Katie Romanov (Island School, Fall 2005) has placed in the top 10 of contenders for America's next eco-star.”
“Floyd and Kim Wilson, along with daughter Kelley Duggan (Island School, Spring 2011) have made a
generous lead gift that will build an endowment to support the further development of a teaching and learning model that wants to be shared with the world.”
“We're Live! After much video production, web & graphic design, technical assistance, and a generous gift from the Wilson family, PuttingSchoolsToWork.org has gone live.”
Middlebury is investing in curriculum that celebrates opportunities for students to turn ideas into action. Jon Isham, Professor of Economics and Faculty Director of the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship, is leading this charge that simply involves setting a goal and getting out of the way. In the last few years, students who have led research projects in his classes have gone on to help launch Brighter Planet, Step It Up, 350.org and Power Past Coal.Watch
After a powerful community outreach experience during their spring 2003 semester at The Island School, Brenna Hughes and Sally Elliot set forth to understand why women and children in island nations feared the water. While researching this question they discovered many wanted to conquer this fear...Watch
A public school in New York City is putting faculty and students to work with a new aquaculture hatchery on Governor’s Island. In their new classroom, students get SCUBA certified and haul bags of oysters out into the harbor. Learning is relevant and multidisciplinary as students work to make a difference...Watch