In the Tech Research class I taught at Burr and Burton Academy we took on a large project each semester / year called 'Education Revisited.' The simple question... How is technology changing 'school?'
As the conversation on 'school schedule' evolved, a student asked 'wouldn't it be great if teachers could see this from our perspective?' After some spirited discussion I asked simply, "ok, how do we do that."
The idea took off to have teachers become 'a student for a day.' We drafted it up, proposed it, and the school eventually adopted a modified version or our proposal.
Students planned it all: Proposals, invitations, participant schedules - and asked potential teachers who's classes they'd sit in if they'd participate. They gathered materials (books, books, and more books), drafted interview questions (that were non-biased), built shooting schedules (pre, runtime and post interviews), and offered feedback on the video editing. One student, James Abrams, was the primary editor of the film.
The full video is at the top of this post... (just over 11 minutes), was presented through the words of the participants answering some simple questions.
The project stirred up a ton of discussions internally at the school, and as it turned out nationally and internationally. I've lost track of how many times it's been highlighted in other publications. We've also passed the production notes on to over 100 schools who were interested in running their own versions of the project.
Promoting student voice and inquiry into 'the educational process,' is essential. It's also great PD for adults as it turned out, too. Go figure ; )
Is this the best schedule we could have? Most often... no.
Is it the best for students? Adults? Families? Most often... no.
In all my travels about the world, I've heard many people say changing a school schedule can be, well, let's just say 'incredibly difficult.'
It really doesn't need to be that complicated.
Small adjustments can lead to very positive changes for students, teachers, administrators, and families.
My personal ideas on getting things moving... you have to start somewhere.
Just remember, 'status quo' never led to much progress… or innovation.
If you're interested in hearing more about this great project, just send me a note!