End the Tyranny of the Self-Contained Classroom — an “egg crate” with a four-walled classroom and a qualified teacher for every 25 (or 30 or 35) students — writes Arthur Wise in Ed Week.
Contrast schools with other professional workplaces, where seasoned professionals and novices work together, incorporate technology into their work, see each other in action, and collaborate in ways that allow novices to contribute and to learn while senior professionals remain firmly in charge and accountable to clients for performance.
. . . As one example of breaking free of the divisive egg-crate model, we could define “classroom” as 150 students served by a team of professionals and others. At the cost of six fully qualified teachers, a team of 17 full-time members, led by a well-compensated, board-certified or otherwise accomplished teacher, could serve the class. Senior teachers would remain accountable for the learning of the 150 students, but many other human and technological resources would be available to help students.
New Classrooms, created by School of One founders, is designing out-of-the-box instruction, starting with a middle-school math model called Teach to One: Math. ”The factory-model classroom of one teacher and 28 or so students in an 800 square foot room has outlived its time,” said Joel Rose.
Students will learn in multiple instructional modalities: in small groups, working one on one with teachers, using educational software and studying with expert online tutors.
Teach to One will launch in Chicago, Perth Amboy, New Jersey and a third city in fall 2012.