School Improvement – The Political Question: Kingdom or Village?


I’ve been spending a lot of my time recently talking about the new building (the 530,000 square foot middle/high school we are designing).  I meet regularly with architects, interior designers, and technology experts.  Our goal is to put in place a true 22nd learning environment.  Many of these professionals ask me “What’s wrong with the standard classroom?” or more specifically, “What is the goal for your new/modern classroom?”.  So I have done quite a bit of  thinking to explain what I hope for and I’ve come up with a comparative analogy.

Classrooms are like countries.  Some are authoritarian monarchies.  Others are democracies, or as I like to think of them, villages.  In a standard, I will even say “old fashioned” classroom, we have an authoritarian monarchy established.  Sometimes we even call this a “sage on the stage” mentality.  It is easiest to spot these kingdoms because they always have…

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