to be the single most important experiment
conducted in education so far. It is the future."
President, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
President Emeritus, Teachers College at Columbia University
When Technology & Education Collide
Every "One" Has a Story
by C.J. Westerberg
I will never forget seeing "A Chorus Line" on Broadway shortly after its opening. It was, at the time of its debut, an extremely controversial show with breakthrough narratives of dancers sharing their unique life stories (and perhaps also becoming a defining moment in the history of personal revelation sharing as a precursor to Facebook and Twitter). The show became hugely successful, breaking many records, spawned a movie starring Michael Douglas, and is still dancing.
student, School of One
"I hope I get it."
dancer, A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line is like a traditional school - either you get it or you don't. You are ranked and rated and sorted against other dancers . . .er . . . students. Stragglers and those who don't quite fit the ideal go home. Some of the dancers who didn't make the grade were "wrong arms Roy" and Frank, who looked at his feet when he danced, and Lois who danced the wrong way, like a ballerina. Students who learn too fast or too slow or visually or prefer group learning or who enjoy on-line learning or who need tutoring are the outliers. What's worse is they are pushed ahead to the next dance even if they didn't master the first one (unlike A Chorus Line). But are they really outliers?
School of One takes a different approach. Excerpts for those unfamiliar:
"The School of One's mission is to provide students with personalized, effective, and dynamic classroom instruction customized to their particular academic needs, interests, and learning preferences.
To organize this type of learning, each student receives a unique
daily schedule based on his or her academic strengths and needs.
As a result, students within the school can receive profoundly
different instruction. Each student's schedule is tailored to ability and
to the ways he or she learns best. Teachers acquire data about student achievement each day and then adapt their live instructional
School of One is a much-watched maverick, being declared The Littlest Schoolhouse, named Time's magazine's top 50 innovations in 2009, featured by MSNBC's Education Nation's week-long event Changing the Equation, a Classroom of the Future, School of One: The School of Tomorrow, and a futuristic initiative by Joel Klein, the former NYC school chancellor.
We'll be watching.
The other side of this coin? If you have to spy on students . . .
#1: School of One
#3 - "One Singular Sensation" - finale from the movie version
More related posts on The Daily Riff and links:
Life as a Learning Lab - "...we've spent hours and hours discussing how we can
help students follow their interests and passions, and also help students learn
powerful ideas and develop as systematic thinkers."
Alan November on Learning and Technology - The Video: Apprenticeship, Learning & Motivation
Differentiated Learning: Coming to Schools - Video
Fires of the Mind: Youth Motivation and Mastery
Using Education Tech to Individualize Learning - Education Week
All Together Now - Education Next