Segments in this Video

Introduction: School of the Future (08:09)


Educating children to be prepared for the future in a rapidly changing world is a challenge. In the US, inequality is one of the largest barriers to education. Researchers introduce their work to allowing each individual student to thrive.

Pre-School (09:09)

What does a child need to become a successful student? Experts agree that developing certain skills early on is essential. Neuroscientist Eric Pakulak is looking for ways to help children overcome gaps causes by inequality.

Working With Parents (06:59)

While Pakulak's team teaches and tests children during the day, their parents are instructed at night. Alejandro Gac-Artigas hopes to promote reading skills by cooperating with parents.

Developing the Brain With Reading (05:25)

Neuroscientist Joanna Christodoulou is studying how reading interventions may impact the developing brain. Early reading deficits in children can lead to learning difficulties later on. Pakulak explains how neuroplasticity is a double-edged sword for educators.

Elementary School (04:29)

Dana Kirton teaches fourth grade in the Bronx, where nearly half of the children are born into poverty. Cantor explains how educators can relieve the stress of their students.

Middle School (04:29)

Even when children are ready to learn, they may not have the tools to do so effectively. Middle school teacher Patrice Bain demonstrates how she helps her students remember what they learn. Dan McGarry and Principal Kelly Simone explain how they tried to educate students on a reduced budget.

Learning Grit (06:46)

Psychologist Angela Duckworth was called in to develop a program to help Simone's struggling students. She hopes to teach students the ability to not give up on challenges to improve their education.

Character Education (08:44)

Teaching positive character skills such as grit is not a new educational practice. Carol Dweck and Duckworth describe the history of character education and the cognitive revolution in education. Education entrepreneur Sal Khan explains why he believes mindset is so important.

American Education System (07:30)

The American school system was designed over a hundred years ago to produce a workforce for a factory based economy. Adapting this system to meet the needs of individual students is a major challenge. Max Ventilla explains the goal of his project, AltSchool.

High School (07:46)

Children's education meets new challenges as they move into high school. At East Palo Alto Academy, teachers cater their lessons to the issues facing impoverished teens and families. Omar Gaytan shares his experience as the child of high school drop outs.

Other Side of Palo Alto (07:06)

While East Palo Alto's crime rate soared, Silicon Valley was booming on the other side of the highway. Cole McFaul attends Henry M. Gunn High School, where academic expectations are a source of intense stress. Darling-Hammond explains the risks of neglecting emotional and social education.

Getting Enough Sleep (04:26)

During adolescence, hormones cause dramatic changes in sleep cycles. Early school classes can then contribute to chronic sleep deprivation. Mary Carskadon is studying how to manipulate sleep cycles to better fit school days.

Inspiring Learning (07:34)

Students and experts agree that a more rewarding school experience inspires better learning. Feeling valued is a critical factor in education, but can be a challenge for immigrant students. Murtada Mahmood shares his experience adapting to American education expectations as a Syrian refugee who arrived with his family in 2013.

Group Belonging and Education (05:01)

As teens try to find their place in the world, their need to be part of a group becomes more important. Immordino-Yang studies how emotions factor into learning. She believes that complex emotion can influence basic brain functions,

Urban Education (05:44)

Khandace Mitchell struggled in middle school, overwhelmed by the stressful conditions of her neighborhood. Simon Hauger explains why students in urban communities often do not care about education.

Gender Gap in Technology (07:54)

Madison Pickett shares her journey from athlete to engineer with project based learning. However, very few women are encouraged to pursue technological education. Amir Abo-Shaeer is attempting to address this inequality while encouraging hands-on learning.

Future School (05:16)

In the future, school may be more about teaching students to how to be happy, take care of themselves, and pursue their interests than about concrete subjects. Students and teachers reflect on the challenges of education, and what the school of the future should look like.

Credits: School of the Future (01:06)

Credits: School of the Future

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School of the Future

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Once the envy of the world, American schools are now in trouble. Can the science of learning— including new insights from neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators—reveal how kids' brains work and tell us which techniques are most likely to engage and inspire growing minds? Teachers, students, parents, and scientists take center stage as NOVA explores a new vision for the School of the Future.

Length: 114 minutes

Item#: FPT151285

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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