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Studio-like Classrooms

Posted by MrsVance on October 28, 2007

Last week the November issue of Fast Company arrived in the mail. The cover boy is Johnathan Goodwin, “Motorhead Messiah”. This guy modifies standard cars so they get double or triple or more miles per gallon and put out few emissions.

This is cool on many levels. It is even more interesting when you discover he dropped out of school in seventh grade to help support his family.

Certainly/probably/maybe most people who drop out of school in seventh grade (or any grade) aren’t in the process of changing the world. But it is also true that the vast majority of students graduating from our schools will not be changing the world either.

I read Johnathan’s story around the time I watched Clarence Fisher’s K12 Online Conference Keynote Speech in which he discusses the idea of the classroom as a studio. According to the article, ‘After dropping out of school in the seventh grade, he [Johnathan Goodwin] made a living by buying up totaled cars and making them as good as new. “That,” he says, “was my school.” ‘ In other words, Johnathan learned in a studio-like environment.

If we can make our classrooms more studio-like will we have a better chance of inspiring our students to a) want to and b) be able to change the world?

And what are the features that make a classroom studio-like?

3 Responses to “Studio-like Classrooms”

  1. AllanahK said

    Thanks for following me in Twitter- we have the same blog template- we show the same good taste.

    Good luck with the blogging.


  2. lindiop said

    Studio-like classrooms, perhaps like an atelier? I have a friend who works in an interesting school in Germany that takes this approach. Some students thrive, others struggle with the lack of direction & can’t cope.

  3. MrsVance said

    For some reason I did not think of the studio classroom as being undirected. But that certainly could be a feature. And I can see where some students would struggle with that. My sons would not have done well in that sort of environment.

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