A Four-Walled Classroom

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Remember what school was like — rows of seats facing front and a teacher at the head of the room?

In an important article in Education Week, “End the Tyranny of the Self-Contained Classroom,” Arthur Wise explains that the 19th century egg-crate school with its four- walled classrooms reinforces the status quo, making it a force against change.

Teachers still stand at the front, teaching 100% of the time to 30 or even 35 students in some places and if a teacher is absent, who takes over?

Wise contrasts schools with professional workplaces, where seasoned professionals work with novices, collaborate and incorporate technology, where people with important jobs earn six-figure salaries and part-time scientists, retired experts and community members are welcomed.

Picture 150 students, served by a team of 17 well-compensated full-time members, led by a certified accomplished teacher accountable for student learning. Wise makes a good case for out-of-the-box teams of teachers delivering what every student needs.

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