Ask Why – Classrooms

When we think of school, most of us immediately think of a classroom with desks, a blackboard, and a teacher at the front of the room.

Why is that?

The roots of our current education system can be traced back to 18th-century Europe, when the driving assumption was that children were empty vessels into which adults needed to pour all essential knowledge. This formula has been tweaked and perfected for the last 200 years.

But today we understand a lot more about how learning happens. This week’s video shows communities across the country beginning to reimagine what education could look like by creating learning experiences that are far more aligned and designed with how adolescent brains are wired. The MET School in Providence, RI (a Big Picture Learning school) is one example of how public schools are changing the story.

The future of education is taking place in new types of classrooms. Public schools across the country are expanding the definition of the classroom to include more of “the real world.” Watch this short video to see how one school is doing it and learn more about what’s possible when schools renovate both the structure and purpose of education.

Ask Why: Classrooms is the second in a four-part series, co-produced by ATTN and 180 Studio, that is designed to invite us to reflect on the assumptions we make about the thing we call “school.” When we pause to ask why, we can learn from students and educators who are advancing new and different visions.


Tweet it: Different students learn differently. Some thrive in traditional classrooms, some do better in more hands-on settings. This video shows public schools doing both. #FutureforLearning

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