‘Place for learning’ days

British schools are dropping the s-word — “school” — in favor of “place for  learning” or “advanced learning centre,” reports the Times of London. Some secondary schools are renaming themselves “colleges” to sound “upmarket.”

Watercliffe Meadow in Sheffield, formed by merging three schools, is “a place for learning,” says head teacher Linda Kingdon.

. . . many of the parents of the children here had very negative connotations of school. Instead, we want this to a be a place for family learning, where anyone can come. . . . There are no whistles or bells or locked doors. We wanted to deinstitutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life,” she said.

Under a government plan, all schools have till 2010 to provide year-round, full-day child care on site or nearby.  Schools also are supposed to offer evening and holiday classes for adults.

Here in the U.S., “academy” is the hot word, usually referring to a school for low-income students. I’d like to see more honesty in labeling: Let students choose between a school, a social center and penitentiary prep. I really think most would pick “school” if the choice was clear.

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  1. Does that mean they’ll relabel other stuff?

    Old/New : “The School” -> “A Place For Learning”

    Old/New : “The Loo” -> “A Place For Pooping”

  2. Penitentiary prep? You certainly have a way with words!

  3. Nels Nelson says:

    “Penitentiary Prep”, starring Tura Satana.

  4. For some reason, in NZ a number of secondary schools have been calling themselves colleges for decades. It does sound a bit posher, but quite often the “good” secondary school in a town calls itself a high school and the ones drawing on poor areas call themselves colleges. I had always thought that came from the UK originally. Seems like in fact they’re copying us.

  5. While this is exactly the sort of wonderful idea I’ve come to expect from the public education system, specious name-changing as a substitute for meaningful improvements, why should the staff be left out of the fun?

    Using KauaiMark’s format:

    Old/New : “Teacher” -> “Pedagogical Engineer”
    Old/New : “Principal” -> “Facility Coordination Supervisor”
    Old/New : “Chief Pedagogical Officer” -> “Chief Pedagogical Officer”

    Cribbing from the medical profession might be fun as well:

    Old/New : “Teacher” -> “Doctor of Understandology”
    Old/New : “Principal” -> “Chief of Authentic Learning Process Strategy Matrices”
    Old/New : “Chief Pedagogical Officer” -> “Chief Pedagogical Officer”

  6. Our administration now calls classrooms “learning spaces.”

    I call the space between their ears “vacuum.”

  7. Donalbain says:

    ONE school is calling itself a “place for learning”. That does not deserve the plural. And schools have been calling themselves “colleges” for hundreds of years.

  8. Richard Brandshaft says:

    I vaguely recall seeing a documentary with alleged that in at least one school district the “College Preparatory” courses were refereed to by the mainly black students as the “Colored People’s” courses. The real college preparatory courses were called “Honors classes” and “Advanced Placement classes”.

    As I said, a vague memory. Can anyone verify this?