Say the word “autumn” and you evoke images of brightly-hued leaves, baskets of apples and harvests of pumpkins. In New York City, especially for parents of four-year-olds and older students looking to transition next year, you also provoke anxiety about the admissions process: when can you visit schools, what will they require of you and of your children, how can you tell if a school is the right school for your child and your family?
On September 24 we welcomed two inspiring thinkers to our community. Ned Johnson and Bill Stixrud have written a book, “the self driven child,” that has been getting a lot of attention and praise all over the place. The book also caught our attention at the school and we invited them to come to speak to the Tribeca community.
Portfolio brings the d.school experience into elementary school and seeks to redesign the meaning of creativity in formal learning.
How do ideas become a creation?
How do individuals become a team?
How does a traveler to Mars become a Martian? These are questions we are exploring as we learn, not only about Mars, but even more importantly, about ourselves.
Two important collaborations with NYU and Columbia are now underway at Portfolio. One partnership will give our students the opportunity to apply their learning in music, technology, design, art and science; the other partnership will help our school refine a methodology that is carefully crafted and guided by research.
“At normal schools, the teachers don’t tell you to write on the walls,” one student happily exclaimed.
“Elon Musk, Elon Musk, Elon Musk,” a number of students chanted, as they planned the interviews they want to try to schedule for the film they will create on permanently settling Mars.
"Amidst graduates from some of the best high schools around the world, I was struck by the intelligence that surrounded me. Yet, I felt better prepared for school and life at Columbia. While they had no problem taking notes in lectures or studying for exams, in seminars where deep learning happens at college and when relationships are formed with professors I found myself speaking up on the literature, proposing questions and interacting with texts while they worked to feel comfortable doing so."
Portfolio has set out to offer an answer for schools with a reimagined vision of learning and operations enabling us to produce a far better product at a far lower cost, enabling us to mitigate the risks of being new while offering a world class experience for our learners.
I wouldn’t bring my 19 month-old son, Eli, to a pediatrician who, for some reason, only used medical methods from the late 19th century. So why would I want to enroll him in a school whose methods have pretty much not changed since the late 19th century?
I’ve spent my career in managing engineering teams in small and large companies. The startup I cofounded grew from just the two founders to ninety five people before it got acquired by Intel in 2013. At Intel, I was managing a team of nearly one hundred and thirty engineers spread globally across four regions.
I’m a technologist by training and experience. I worked in Silicon Valley for a number of years before moving out to the east coast for my PhD. In 2009, after finishing my doctoral work in engineering, a good friend of mine and I started a company, Kno Inc, in education technology (commonly referred to as ed-tech).
The story begins with a conversation I had with my friend’s daughter, Sania (10), who attends the Khan Lab School in Mountain View California. She and her older sister, Aisha (13), both had trouble with math and didn’t enjoy the subject.
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