Learning Communities

The New One Room School House

The way we teach students has failed on so many levels, so let’s imagine how we would create a new type of schooling system.  It is surprising that we all tend to imagine the exact same format of classroom learning, we just imagine we will do it better.  Frankly, most well-meaning people who want to open their own private schools end up creating the exact same experience that has failed us for the last hundred years.  We keep imagining the same style of factory schools.

Fundamentally, what is different about today that allows us to imagine a  totally new way of schooling?  Knowledge is everywhere.  Back in the day, probably the only person who knew how to do Algebra in a small town was the high school math teacher.  That world is completely gone.  Just go to Youtube or Howtube, that is where the very best Algebra teachers of today are.  As a certificated High School math teacher, with a Master Degree in Mathematics, the first and most important principal we need to appreciate is that the teacher is no longer the expert, the fountain of knowledge, the wise “sage on the stage” expousing enlightening material from the front of the classroom.  This simple principal will guide us to the schooling of the future, the Learning Community.

What is a Learning Community?  A group of families that come together around a shared view of education.  Students gather together in a classroom and leverage the best of the internet for a highly personalized learning experience.  I am no longer the “sage on the stage” who has to know all the answers, I’m the guide on the side.  I help students figure out the answer, I engage them in thoughtful dialog, I help them explore their own thoughts and ideas, and most of all, I am honest when I don’t know something.  It is liberating, fun, and it works.

My students enjoy their learning communities, they talk to each other, they do not compete with each other, they compete against themselves.  In my classroom I have grades K through 12, the older ones love to help the younger ones.  My students log into their computers and complete on-line classes that fit their learning levels.  The students are focused and it is easy for me to spend time individually with the students who are in need of more attention, since most students keep them selves busy with their own program.

I know that during the great shutdown, online learning got a very bad reputation. In my experience, it was an insane idea to lecture students in the already-outmoded “sage of the stage” style of learning over a video conference call.  Its just ridiculous when students can find a better lecture online.  That does not work, that is not a learning community. My students work through their carefully planned on-line courses, chit-chatting with their friends from time to time, and getting help as they need.

A modern learning community blends the best of both worlds.  A place to gather and share learning experiences and tailored learning courses that only computers can realistically deliver.  A learning community is so simple to set up as compared to starting your own private school.  After starting our own private school, I can assure you, there are many, many tasks  that have absolutely nothing to do with the students.  Who actually likes paperwork and red-tape anyway?

Studia Nova has launched our Learning Community initiative, bringing the joy of learning to your community with a lightening fast start-up process.  I encourage you to learn more about this modern and updated mode of learning.