What should we teach?
"We imagine a world where "success" is defined by practicing wisdom, love and conscious action in all that we do."
We live in a time of great transition. A glance at the daily news reveals growing concern for our children's readiness to address mounting pressures and challenges. Technology is advancing at a faster pace than our shared wisdom of how to guide it. The content, skills and mindsets students need to be successful in the 21st century are changing rapidly. To be successful today requires proactive integration of academic readiness and healthy whole-student development.
Milliennium.org is a non-profit organization helping adolescents to develop the tools they need to evolve from "surviving" to "thriving" as young adults. This evolution requires that we all work together to shift our collective worldview of success, from I win to We win. Research indicates that this transformation begins in adolescence with healthy identity formation, and the conscious integration of students’ outer world of performance with their inner sense of Self.
We believe our education system provides the greatest opportunity for guiding students through this transformation, and that teachers are the catalyst. Yet teachers today are often overworked and under-supported to consistently play this level of trusted guide in many of their students' lives. The science and technology exists to help teachers facilitate high-impact student advisory circles within schools' existing schedules, and therein to provide a stronger foundation for wise and compassionate human development.
Millennium is committed to applying leading research in developmental science to provide whole-student professional development programs and communities of practice already in demand by schools and educators nationwide.
Bridging the gap
Research consistently demonstrates the important role that character development and social-emotional learning (SEL) can play in the academic, career, and life success of students. Yet many schools - particularly in the middle and early high school grades - struggle to implement whole-student development in the classroom. Teachers report increasingly high levels of stress in the workplace, and frustration over the lack of time, resources, and SEL training they have received. Millennium bridges this gap by translating leading edge research in adolescent neuroscience and psychology into professional development programs and practical tools for just-in-time classroom implementation.
WHAT WE DO
Forum is Millennium’s approach to human development through a structure of peer-to-peer small group circles. Based on small-group practices used by coaching and counseling organizations worldwide, Forum utilizes a combination of in-person and online tools to promote embedded, sustainable learning and application. Millennium is currently partnering with SFUSD middle schools to implement Forums first for faculty and then for students. Forums meet regularly to introduce new SEL-related skills, practice in a safe social setting, and develop deeper self-awareness and social-emotional intelligence. Our intention is ultimately to create a scalable blended learning platform and online community for whole-teacher & whole-student development.
In partnership with nationally-leading educators, psychologists and neuroscientists, Millennium is working to define a research-backed framework for adolescent developmental science. This framework follows the natural healthy development of young adults across a range of dimensions such as cognitive, social, emotional, creative, physical, ethical and spiritual. By identifying markers for varying stages of student maturity and codifying the teacher competencies that best advance these capacities, Millennium can help teachers better understand what to watch for and how to best foster an environment for conscious student development.
In August 2016, we launched an innovative lab school in San Francisco, Millennium School. Together with leading developmental scientists, our team spent two years researching and one year piloting how to deliver, among other aspects, our transformational “Forum” student advisory experience for adolescents. This dedicated lab environment enables us to apply action-research, gather feedback, and co-create programs in collaboration with researchers, teachers, and middle school students. SEL research indicates these whole-student practices lead to greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and an increased sense of security and connection with peers.