Bernard Chapin, a former school psychologist at a school for troubled students, is serializing Escape from Gangsta Island: The Progressive Decline of an Alternative School at Men’s News Daily. The school followed the “togetherness model.”
1. If we play and interact together our bonds will strengthen and grow.
2. For at least the first week of every school year teachers should devote all of class time to playtime activities and the result will be an effective community where learning flourishes like dandelions in un-mowed lawns.
3. Now, once we have broken bread and played together, we will conquer algebra and biology with the same spirit that we raced in the gym, drew our handprints on construction paper, and bounced balls in the cafeteria.
4. After doing this, school wide behavior will improve and test scores will rise.
Test scores didn’t rise; behavior didn’t improve. But the school was marketed as a success story nonetheless.