All of the 21st century schools designed by the groups in our class were all imaginative and showed the direction that we think education should be heading in – while still adhering to the necessary elements such as standardized testing and core standards (especially when it came to our ideas for funding the schools). All of our schools incorporated some of the more progressive education trends, such as having a more student-centered curriculum. Bringing in more community support and engagement was also a common theme in most of the designs, but we all went about it slightly different ways, whether by making students do internships in local businesses or just for additional financial support.
I think vocational schools are a great idea for student who aren’t necessarily college-bound, so I was very interested in the high school designed for that purpose. I know that the group talked a lot about funding through traditional means and also by having businesses come in and be involved, but I think that type of school would have more trouble getting all the money that would be needed for all the different programs. I know funding is a big issue for vocational programs now so maybe it would be harder to sell the idea of a vocation-only school. Although, if there are enough families who are interested in the school, then the county/state might see that there is a need.
I think most of the fundamentals of all of our schools were very similar, so I don’t think I would necessarily want to modify our school’s design. I would want to look more into different funding options that could come from the community, since our school is already meant to be an extension of the surrounding area. Ornstein, Levine, Gutek, and Vocke (2014) efforts to this can include “partnership or adopt-a-school programs in which a business, church, university, or other community institution…providing assistance such as tutors or lecturers, funds or equipment for vocational studies, computer education, or help in curriculum development” (p. 493). One of the groups even mentioned in their presentation about renting out the space to other groups, which I thought was a good idea.
I thought each group did a great job balancing the more traditional parts of education (the necessary evils) and making education more relevant and engaging to the students. I liked hearing all the different visions that groups had, while still sticking to the same core values. I hope to see some of our schools become reality in the future!
Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., Gutek, G.L., & Vocke, D. E. (2014). Foundations of education. (12th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.