Sunday, March 1, 2015

What should Classrooms look like?

Last week I had the chance to speak at the E N Thompson Forum as a warm up act for the inspiring Milton Chen. I decided to talk about what creativity looks like and can look like in Elementary classrooms. To start off I asked my audience to draw what classrooms should look like. The results (I am attaching examples of work in progress) were very interesting.

What was very clear from the work is that most of the people showing up thought classrooms should look very different than they do now.

The question that occured to me was: if there is a growing concensus that classrooms should be more open and integrated why aren't we trying to do something about it? The example of Pegasus Bay in New Zealand sticks in my mind as an option for new schools but I believe that there is much we can do inside older buildings as well.
I believe that with a bit of ingenuity we can do a lot. It is NOT a replacement for excellent teaching but it provides an environment that encourages teacher and students to learn and teach creatively.

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