Discarding the Notion of the Classroom [SLIDE]

At Educon this year, David Jakes — a guy who pushes my thinking more than most — said something that still hasn’t fully settled in my mind:

(download slide and view original image credit on Flickr here)

So whaddya’ think?  Are the preconceived notions that we all have about what classrooms are supposed to be holding us back — preventing us from really redefining what schools are all about?

Another question:  Does the traditional architecture of schools — both physical and mental (think self-contained classrooms holding 30 kids for 50 minutes at a time) — discourage learning and reinforce schooling?

Final question:  What will it take for nontraditional definitions of “classrooms” and “learning spaces” to be fully embraced?



Related Radical Reads:

 Should We Be Engaging or Empowering Learners?

Are YOU a What If Thinker?

What If Schools Created a Culture of Do?

Related categories:
  • Enrique Cachafeiro

    Do Away with Classrooms

    Agreed. We did away with bells as a first step. Next school year we are doing away with segregated subjects. After that, a set block schedule or seat hours. After that, hopefully, grades by age instead of ability. It’s time to deconstruct the classroom, one piece at a time.



    A year or so ago, in a graduate course, I was encouraged to read a report about the “8 Year Study” (which you can access at http://www.8yearstudy.org).  The report discusses the experience of hundreds of US schools which, in the 1930s, experimented with open classrooms, nontraditional grouping of students, no schedule-schedules, student-driven curriculum, authentic experience in lieu of “assessment,” and portfolio proof of achievement.  I encourage all educators to read about this program that was abandoned because of WWII and never revived because of the Cold War.   It offers AMPLE and VERIFIABLE evidence that students achieve more when participating in learning environmennts that purposely sacrificed schedules, rules, and “curriculum” for true learning.  

    Enrique, I would love to know where you are working.  I myself will be taking a new job with a small school on July 1 that wishes to follow the same pathway as yours.  It would be a great advantage to observe another school introducing these reforms.