Monday, October 15, 2012

What money can buy: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls

I watched the tv show about the first graduating class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on OWN network last night. Oprah is aiming to create a "new generation of dynamic women leaders." I poked around their web site this morning. The OWLAG says this about ICT: "We continually monitor ICT developments in education - seeking new ways of using connectivism as a learning theory and exploring the genefits of networked learning." There is an Arts and Culture Department that "provides after-school co-curriculum programme which focuses on creativity, opportunity and development." The OWLAG includes design technology in the curriculum with lessons that are mostly project-driven and assessed on the basis of teamwork as well as other results. The school stresses community service. There is an office of university guidance and a wellness team. The school offers the Internantional Baccalaureate degree for the middle years. The school teaches English, IsiZulu, SeSotho and Akrikaans. English is the "bridging language." The other three languages help ensure that these students will be "firmly grounded by their culture and South African heritage." The description of the library includes this: "Books are the most important part of the Library. Despite our very impressive collection of DVDs, movie recordings and subscription databases, the printed word in its traditional format is where research and reading skills begin." (That sounds almost quaint to me - but I appreciate the sentiment.) Nice! What if all kids had a personal advisor and a wellness coach and a life orientation curriculum? I know that Oprah has plenty of money to lavish on tis particular school and gets to pick the best blueberries (see ), but what if we had the will to do more for all of our children?

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