Progressive schools are here! I know, I know, schools have been, almost without exception, a bastion of extreme liberalism for decades now throughout the West. But, they typically haven’t been specifically set up to be such, especially grade schools. Not to worry, though, the times they are a changin’. These schools are popping up all over the country now.
These students don’t just get the usual bash the U.S. fare. They are free to focus on any number of politically-correct topics. They can learn at their own pace with kids of different ages and pursue their own interests. Administrators say that these schools may well be the future of education. They say that the grade level model where everybody does the same thing doesn’t meet the kids needs anymore. These new schools typically have café-style furniture and low tables for group work. Sushi and Saki anyone? Students are free to wander around between rooms and even work on assignments while lounging on the floor. So much for ‘posture.’ Staff members are frequently called ‘advisors,’ not teachers.
A key concept amongst these bastions of brilliance is learning through community service, often via a school-wide project, such as building free libraries or cleaning up a local stream. (Or raising funds for an abortion clinic?). Might kids at these schools study only what they want, perhaps missing out on, say, math or English?
Report cards don’t include letter grades, of course, but normally indicate which modules a student has completed. Other ‘measurements’ include portfolios, ‘student reflection’ and ‘narrative feedback.’
It’s “Back to the Future” all over again. Schools such as these were fairly popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s. How did that work out for us?
Apparently we did not learn anything from them.