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What the Heck is a 'Teacherpreneur'?

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Re-imagining the institution of education will have to be done from different levels. At TEDxSFED on Saturday, we heard from inspirational speakers who spoke to these various perspectives: a principal who literally handed the keys to his school to a student; a design thinker who recreated the school day based on a student's interests and passions; a teacher who uses the kitchen as the backdrop to educate students about everything from botany to day-to-day experiences outside school; a program that teaches kids to innovate and build with their own hands.

Consider how the profession of teaching can be re-imagined. David Orphal, one of the speakers at the event, took us through the scenario, scene by scene, and explained the theory behind a "teacherpreneur."

Based on the work of the Center for Teaching Quality and Barnett Berry's new book "Teaching 2030," the concept of "teacherpreneur" involves giving classroom teachers more of a voice in educational leadership, while allowing current educational leaders and policymakers opportunities to spend a part of each year working in a classroom with students.

In this ideal world, teachers spend part of their time in the class as co-teachers, part of their time researching and writing curriculum and assessments for schools, part of the time mentoring new teachers (who have a reduced work load while they're being trained), part of their time innovating ideas for teacher development, and part of their time drafting educational policy.

In other words, as Orphal said at TEDxSFED: "What would educational reform look like, if Secretary Arne Duncan took five weeks to teach summer school?"


Take a look at Orphal's "Prezi" presentation, which includes an interview with Ariel Sacks who spoke to MindShift at Big Ideas Fest about the concept of "teacherpreneurship."

And check out more video interviews, photos, blogs, and Tweets on the TEDxSFED site. It was a truly inspiring day.

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