Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

97 people think this is good

  • Valeria Francesconi
  • Becky Slogeris
  • Sofia Rivas
  • Lee Fatone
  • Emre Girgin
  • Jelena Woehr
  • Pat Lee

What if students designed their own schools?

Charles Tsai

The best small town in America (Great Barrington, MA) is experimenting with self-directed learning at its public high school. A group of students gets to create their own school-within-a-school and they learn only what they want to learn.

Does it work? Charles Tsai finds out by spending a week with the Independent Project.

Continue to youtube.com

Inappropriate?

97 people think this is good

  • Valeria Francesconi
  • Becky Slogeris
  • Sofia Rivas
  • Lee Fatone
  • Emre Girgin
  • Jelena Woehr
  • Pat Lee

This post is tagged in…

Discuss

  1. {{attachment.file.name}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Posting comment...

  • Becky Slogeris

    This is amazing! Can't wait to try it in Baltimore!

  • Diana L L Hill

    The high school project I was part of was call The Center For Self Directed Learning. It had 150 students and 5 facilitators (teachers) and was part of a large public high school outside of Chicago. The program ran from 1972-1984. I was part of it for the last three years of high school. We were self govern and self taught with encouragement and input from our facilitators and anyone else in the community who would help. Some of us were highly motivated, others on the verge of dropping out. We had written evaluations rather than grades and all of us who wanted to got into good colleges. We had a reunion this summer and we all were so glad to have been a part of it and it set us up in life with a very useful and optimistic perspective on education, ourselves, governance, our role as members of a community.... I was so disappointed I couldn't find anything like it for my daughters. I hope MMRHS continues with the program. Did you see the winner of the TED wish this year? Organizing education around self organizing and directed learning?!

    • Charles Tsai

      Yes. Saw TED Prize - couldn't be happier. The tide is turning. :)

  • Colleen O'Neill

    We offer students what we call "Learning Intensives" for the last three weeks of the school year. Students attend just one class for the three weeks. I will try to incorporate this into my section. This is very exciting!

  • Deisa

    It looks amazing! I have some questions: I watched very few students at school, where are the others?
    If the whole school was involved, I mean about 200 students or more, would this project work?
    Thank you very much for sharing this great experience!

  • Luke Flegg

    This is really cool.

    My life ambition is to get my voluntary project off the ground:
    www.ChangeTheFuture.co.uk

    its objective is to change the way we shape UK education, and also allow us to redesign our schools.
    It's also based on the idea that young peoples' voices are missing most from the debate and the shaping process, despite being the most important people to involve.

      • Luke Flegg

        Hi Charles! Glad you're interested : ]
        However, I'm not sure how I could personally keep you posted (along with the other people who are interested) so it's probably best for you to keep yourself posted via our Facebook page : ]

  • Lynne Fornieles

    Hi I am an architect involved in starting up a really small secondary school set in a national park and surrounded by beauty in the south of England. One of the first projects set for the children aged between 10-14 years was to design their own school. This was for a group of around twenty studens..all the kids in the project. Would love to make our distinctive difference about problem solving through design..using the skills of empathy to step into another person's or people's problem and really give attention to understanding and action.
    If anyone would like to get involved please come and see us, email us...come and see our website Heartwood
    Small School Project
    ... a learning community

    www.heartwoodproject.org.uk

    • Charles Tsai

      Thanks for letting us know. I might come to UK this June. If I do, I'll definitely be in touch.

  • VICTORIA V

    I am actually wishing I could go back to high school now, only, to THEIR high school.
    This is so amazing.