Oct 03

Innovative Schooling?

I hear a lot, or rather read a lot, about changing the way we “school” our children. I hear ideas about not sorting kids by age, not being driven by bells and schedules, and about not controlling or making kids conform to traditional school rules. I have trouble wrapping my brain around ideas that are new to me unless I get to “see” how it’s being done elsewhere.

Are there schools out there where bells and schedules aren’t being used?

Are there schools out there where students aren’t sorted into grade levels based mostly on age?

Are there schools out there where rules aren’t the traditional sit and listen type rules?

Are they charter schools or regular public ed schools?

Are their budgets normal or do they get more money from somewhere?

I guess I’m looking for ideas because I don’t see how our school or district can change. Frankly, even if I get ideas it’s just to satisfy my curiosity because I bet I’m the only one here interested in such change! Please share a school you know of that isn’t traditional in the comment section.

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10 comments

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  1. Hello Mr. G.,

    My kids are in a magnet program and they do not ring a bell when they change classes, but rather, music is played. It is sort of like musical chairs; it’s fun and kids are exposed to a variety of music such as classical music and classics. Kind of a nice touch, I think…don’t you?

  2. http://www.oneshool.com provides the tools to manage education in a different way.

    • Toddloomismiller on October 7, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Go look at Sunfield right down the street. Private Waldorf school. No bells, no grades, it is an amazing place however, they have no money. My wife works there and it is only that I am one of those overpaid public school teachers with health insurance that she can do it. The teachers are extremely committed and wonderful but it is truly a labor of love. Todd

  3. Thanks, Todd! I didn’t know about Sunfield! I can’t believe we have a school like that and that it’s so underfunded. That’s just not right.

  4. Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  5. It sure is a nice touch but it’s still a bell schedule. I was wondering how schools do “school” without a bell schedule.

    • Knowfreedomnow on January 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Hi al,
    Check out free range schools. Interesting concept. I’m in the first stages of developing a learning environment that incorporated a interactive virtual world based on a video game platform that students can grow and learn according to their desires. A interaction of math, science, lit, history and art bundles together as a collaboration instead of separate subjects. As well a real time lab environment where they can test theory through application. Last but not least this facility will have a research and development department on site with engineers, scientists, and innovators building real time adaptive and new technology that students can observe and implement their observations in their own classroom setting. No pace to follow but their own inspiration to learn, no grade levels or placement, only forward thinking and learning. There is to much detail to explain. You can follow me and the discussion on face book at Mind Field. Thanks. Allan B

  6. Thanks, Allan. The Free Range Schools look great! Wow. It’s nice to see those things happening and so close to where I am!

    Looked up Mind Field on Facebook and found a lot of things that didn’t look like what you described.

    • Knowfreedomnow on January 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Please elaborate in regards to not finding related subjects on mind field. I just started this conversation on Facebook. Still trying to weed out those post and people that are not there for this purpose. And finding those that are interested yet unaware. Please all input and engagement is needed. Silence solves nothing.

  7. Sorry, Allan. What I meant was that I wasn’t sure if the Mine Field group was the one you were referring to. When you do a search for Mine Field on Facebook a lot of things come up, mostly music but also a book and an album. When I peeked at the Mind Field group I didn’t notice anything about education so I thought it was the wrong group.

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