Experimental School (89)

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Schools can become institutionalized and non-responsive to the real needs of students, faculty members, the community and society. Schools with unchanging assumptions are unlikely to meet society's changing needs. This is unfortunate at a time when the need for public problemsolving is the most acute. If schools aren't innovative and if people don't seriously think about how education can play new roles in new ways, it's unlikely that the society will be innovative in cultural, technical, scientific, or civic thought or action. Schools also tend to assist privileged subsets of society. Typically, older people can't attend school, nor can poor people, working people, or rural people. An experimental school attempts to accomplish positive aims while adopting experimentation as a guiding orientation. It will work towards its goals through careful and ongoing evaluation of the approaches that the school is trying. The concepts of an Experimental School can be useful to anybody who is involved in or interested in education. The key concepts are respect for learning, reflection, and a faith in the importance of reasoning and, especially, reasoning together.

Text: Douglas Schuler, Steve Schapp, & Thad Curtz