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PUSD Supt. Gundry: Adopt 21st Century Curriculum

Gundry said the school district must prepare children to have creative, collaborative and critical thinking skills

Published on Monday, September 19, 2011 | 5:17 am

Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Jon Gundry says he wants the children of Pasadena to be ready to embrace and conquer a future we can now only imagine.

To achieve this goal, teachers, principals and administrators must shift their focus towards the 21st century and develop the classroom into a more engaging, collaborative, hands on, and real-world atmosphere, he said.

Speaking at the State of the Schools address last Thursday night, Gundry said the school district must prepare children to have creative, collaborative and critical thinking skills.

“One of my goals for this district is to train teachers and principals what it means to have a real, engaging, creative collaborative, hands on and real-world connection of lessons in classrooms,” he said, and added that although some teachers are already doing this other teachers and administrators need to be trained to understand “what it means to bring our teaching practice into the 21st century in every classroom in the district.”

He emphasized the importance of a proactive curriculum that embraces developments in technology and a classroom that is responsive to the needs of children.

Gundry said, “Some of these changes will serve our children well in the future no matter how the world change.”

The current school system does not need a special program to implement changes that he envisions, Gundry said.

In his first school year as PUSD’s new superintendent, Gundry said he has spent recent weeks visiting and informally evaluating as many schools and classrooms as possible.

“Would I send my child to this school?” he said he asked himself on each visit. “That is the standard that I set for the school as I enter. Most of the schools that I’ve seen here, I can say ‘Yes.’ ”

We need to do a better job to prepare our teachers to teach our children 21st century learning and overlay that in our curriculum, Gundry said in the address, continuing to say that adopting 21st teaching into the classroom is something that can be effectively done in every classroom in the district.

Teachers just have to understand what the program is and how to go about it. If teachers learn to adopt the new system, it would actually make their jobs easier and more interesting, Gundry said.

“Teachers will be more engaged and will love coming to work once they learn how to do it and it will also teach them how to communicate well with kids,” the Superintendent explained.

At the same time, Gundry praised the teachers and students in the district. He said the impressions he got visiting the different schools in PUSD are that students in the district are well behaved, polite and are doing what their teachers or administrators are asking them to do.

The students in the district are also very cooperative, Gundry said.

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