Final project philosophy oriented education

DESIGN AN OPEN-SYSTEM SCHOOL that takes its elements from the readings, videos and powerpoint slides, and from the schools we have learned about from our Web Research presentations. The idea is to turn abstract theory into concrete forms of life. Organize your paper/powerpoint according to the same categories we have been using so far:


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1. SPACE: various sized rooms, pathways, multiple commons, indoor-outdoor interfaces, natural light

2. TIME: segmentation, flow, spontaneity, flexibility

3. GROUPING: large & small, individual, fluid

4. CURRICULUM & MATERIALS: project-based, multidisciplinary, emergent, polysymbolic, individualized, customized

5. PEDAGOGY: dialogical, interactive, customized, mentorship

6. ASSESSMENT: Descriptive Review, multi-modal, formative

7. GOVERNANCE: non-hierarchical, agentic, direct democracy

8. PARENTS & COMMUNITY: community as resource and object of study; parents as visiting teachers.


• No more than 100 students and least 10 full-time teachers (1:10 ratio)

• Ages 6-14, NOT age-graded (no traditional classrooms)

• Home-base organization, each with resident mentor

• Individualized schedules (IEP)

• Emphasis on arts: music, dance, plastic arts, video, literature, theatre, crafts. Artist-in-Residence on staff

• Negotiated, emergent, individualized and integrated (inter-disciplinary) curriculum BASED ON THE PROJECT METHOD. Individualized math curriculum. Required “basic” classes in science, history, geography, anthropology and literature (non-graded).

• Assessment based on the Descriptive Review Process, plus portfolios, performances, exhibits and presentations, and conferences with mentors and with parents and mentors. No letter or number grades

• Governance based on democratic schools model: whole-school governance

• Co-op status (parents commit two hours a week to the school)

• Students participate in food growing, cooking and serving, and in building maintenance


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