If I were to start up a school from scratch, what would it look like?


Blog Ques #2

When I read this blog hop question # 2 from OSSEMOOC this week, I felt the wheels in my head immediately start rotating into overdrive.  This happened for 3 reasons.  Here is my opportunity to act on something that is meaningful and is of purpose to me; here is my opportunity to be creative; here is my opportunity to interpret and then choose the direction that I want to take. Here’s, my opportunity to be innovative because if I’m paying attention to the research, asking the right questions, and thinking critically about my chosen profession, change is necessary.

I’m sure the choice of wording is intentional.  What does “start up a school” mean?  Are we talking about the physical building?  Okay, I’ll take the bait.  A number of assumptions have to be made here.  I will assume that the eighteenth century factory model of education has disappeared. (I guess I just “started up a school” with that assumption)  So, our “rooms” are no longer built for 25 or so desks for students that are the same age that are all told what to know.  Instead we need fewer, larger, purpose specific rooms that are appropriately equipped.  After checking into a “hub”, a “student” would determine, with help from their “teacher”, which area they need to proceed to.  Most areas could be designated generic in nature and the occupants would be determined based on information gathered in the “hub”.  Other areas may need to be more specific in nature for safety and health reasons.  An example would be an area where “students” are building structures out of wood or metal.  Some of these “rooms” may include areas outside of the building.  A “student’s”  assignment for the day or week or month may even include an experience right outside the building, in an outside organization, or even at home.  The physical structure of the rooms in the “school” would have to allow for lots of sunlight, high ceilings, round corners and a choice of where and how to congregate.

The role of the “teacher” becomes very different in this structure.  The first thing that has to be established is a trusting, honest, open line of communication between a “teacher” and his/her “students”.  Face to face communication could diminish significantly which means any communication must be productive and effective.  “Teachers” have to be resourceful when it comes to connecting with their “students”.   Both parties would need to become proficient at using virtual tools to move learning and teaching in the right direction to benefit the “student”.

I’m finding that the more I write, the more ideas come into my head.  I think that’s enough for now before I grab a hammer and start building.  I am looking forward to your ideas and especially your interpretations.  How about getting a number of students’ perspectives on this?



3 thoughts on “If I were to start up a school from scratch, what would it look like?

  1. Cathy McCann-Kyte

    Hi Joe: I was getting caught up with my OSSEMOOC posts and recognized your name. Really liked your stance on what a future school should look like. I”m thinking from our learning in Texas- teacher may be replaced with facilitator and student with learner for so many positive reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I am realizing more each day that we need radical changes to education. ie. Does intermediate/senior mathematics have to be as skills based as it is? Shouldn’t we be focusing more on applying those skills to real world problems? It reminds me of how machine language in computer coding has virtually disappeared.


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