Designing Schools for Learning

The world of education is swarming with branded or hyphenated approaches such as deeper learning, project-based learning, personalized learning, competency-based education. Each brings important insights into creating our next generation schools. Yet, it’s difficult to keep them straight. Sometimes we spend more time trying to understand what they mean and how they differ from each other rather than discovering how they can best help students.

Our challenge, and our opportunity, is to move beyond the fragmented approaches to make sense how they fit together into what is best described as a modern school. There is nothing particularly new about any of these approaches; they all have roots in early models. The challenge we face is to move beyond the traditional approaches and integrate these new approaches so that they respond to where students are in their learning and development while motivating and engaging students to put their best effort forward.

The following questions are designed to help you to develop your vision for a modern school based on the research on how children learn. Take the time to think about what you already have in place and where there are opportunities to introduce new practices. You don’t have to make all the changes all at the same time.