Author Topic: School of One  (Read 1379 times)

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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School of One
« on: January 12, 2012, 05:21:10 pm »
I first heard of this in a Freakonomics podcast. The main focus of the episode is a fascinating New York City Department of Education pilot program called School of One, which customizes the classroom experience for each student.

DUBNER: Our public schools are longing for a tyranny of choice ó the misery that comes from having too many options. Is School of One the answer? Thatís impossible to say. So far, the early returns look good. Hereís Joel Rose again:

ROSE: Before the program began, every student took a pretest that was aligned to the skills on their playlist. The average score was 42 percent. At the end of the program, roughly 50-60 hours of instruction later, they took a post-test on the same skills. Post-test scores average 70 percent. We asked the DOE research and policy team, is that good? Is that not good? How do we contextualize that? They did an analysis and found that these gains were, depending on what we consider a control, 4-8 times the gains we would see in traditional schools in roughly a third the time.

DUBNER: If and when education is customized, thereíll be fortunes made, and maybe lost. Thereíll be competition among technology vendors and content providers and a million others. Thereíll be turf wars with teachers unions. Would School of One require fewer teachers ó or maybe more? Less money ó or more? Joel Rose says itís simply too early to answer these questions. What we do know is that a future with something like School of One will be different. Very different. Technology, instead of being discouraged in schools, would move to the head of the class. Teachers would have to be trained differently. Hereís Blair Hyser, the math department chair at I.S. 339 and a teacher at School of One:

Blair HYSER: The fear of School of One is just that students might get lost, given that there isnít that traditional 25 kids, one teacher and that teacher works with those students every day. So I think that is the one hesitation or fear, itís different, itís new, its something that hasnít really happened before. As a teacher, if youíve taught fifteen years or twenty years in one way, itís very challenging to kind of think outside the box in terms of your instruction.

Here's their website.

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