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What if Schools...

Session 6
Luke Zeller — SLA Beeber, School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Writing Project

"What if schools…" is a prompt for educators to tap into their own innovation and imagine what is possible within and beyond schools and classrooms. When teachers enter the profession, we face a tradition and paradigm of education that has merit, but also needs to be constantly modernized and rethought for the present age and the future. We can become mechanicized by the boundaries of the classroom, and we may not even consider what is else is possible, unless we start asking ourselves, "What if…?"

This conversation has many potential threads: 1) School structures, locations, and identities. 2) Equity in education. 3) Technology in education. 4) Instructional practices that should not be lost in the process of "too much" innovation. 5) Teaching beyond classroom walls and communities.

By encouraging people from many different backgrounds to brainstorm and collaborate, everyone should be able to walk away with an enriched sense of what schools and education are capable of.

Conversational Practice

This is completely intended to be a conversation. Whereas I may share some photos of different classrooms in which I have taught in America and in other countries, they would only be conversation starters. I would prefer to meet in a circle and have people work in small groups to collaborate and share ideas about the prompt, "What if schools…"

In addition, I would like to capture the ideas with either a twitter hashtag or a googledoc.

An ultimate goal is also to have a "What if Schools…" Wordpress blog. I would like to use some of the ideas from the session for a potential opening essay for the blog. Also, I would hope to solicit future writers for writing entries.

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