Designing schools the right way

When we design (or re-design) schools, we do not want to work from the top down, we want to work from the bottom up. We want to design curriculum by asking the right questions FIRST. How many classes, how much time, what frequency, what schedule allows us to implement our curriculum in the way we want it, how much break time, how much homework, what kind of technology,how and where does the mission statement fit, etc

Instead of the obstacles..… such as cafeteria restrictions, bell systems, bus schedules, traffic patterns, break times, graduation requirements, grade level requirements, software limitations, number of classrooms and teachers, number of students, possible conflicts, even financial considerations……… being identified FIRST, we define what we are trying to accomplish, and we identify what we are not willing to negotiate on, and we simply make the obstacles work around our curricular requirements, not vice versa.

By defining and setting that priority list, it allows any meetings, conversations, discussions, and decisions to be filtered much more effectively. So often when fundamental discussions are discussed between faculty, we tend to get bogged down with incidentals, off topics tangents, and side tracked conversations. Even discussions about implementation can get in the way of making fundamental policy and curricular decisions.

About Doug Bergman

Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC
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