A Cure for the Common Classroom
Illinois school districts continue to align their curricula with the State’s Common Core Standards, which reveal what to do, but not necessarily how to do it. Among the concepts gaining momentum are technology integration, group work, project-based learning, cross-curricular activities, and one-to-one computing. Many districts are responding by harnessing the latest technology and learning methods research to alter their delivery methods. The transformations in teaching and learning beckon for a transformation in the setting.
Education begins with engagement. Diagram A shows a five-sided classroom layout that gives shape to one district’s instructional model, which emphasizes inquiry-based, collaborative learning. A teacher positioned at the center has wireless control of screens positioned around the room. Engaged students have devices to contribute to the information on the screens.
In Diagram B, a traditional four-sided classroom employs similar technology in small group activity clusters. In both examples, the teacher can coach and mentor without dictating while flexible furniture allows for rapid reconfiguration.
Read the article “What If There’s Another Way?” which appeared in The Illinois School Board Journal.