There is a question that our Project Advisory Team has been wrestling with as we work with our architects and the district to plan the new Condit – what does the future of education look like and how can we build a school that will be responsive to those needs? Quite a question, right? You may have heard the term 21st century used in articles and conversations about education and it has me thinking about what this term actually means. I make no claims that this will be the definition everyone will agree upon, however I believe you will see the possibilities for the future in the areas below.
I believe schools need to be built to be flexible. The days of desks in rows are gone; the school we build needs to be able to respond to the instructional and grouping needs of our students. The former model of rooms with rigid purpose may need to be rethought to allow for different learning arrangements.
Schools should be built for collaboration. Our buildings today allow for students within a class to collaborate; as we look towards the possibilities of education we need to consider collaboration on a larger scale, extending the collaboration borders beyond the school walls. Today students have the opportunity to work in conjunction with other classes around the world and learning from experts who have never set foot in their building. We should also continue this idea of collaboration and consider the role it plays in teacher planning and preparation for instruction.
Perhaps the most wonderful challenge we face is that we need to prepare our students for a world that doesn’t exist yet. We need to create a building that will allow our students to be sound in the fundamentals and flexible enough to conquer the challenges that await them in school and in life. It may sound grandiose, but this is our charge as educators, to have our students ready for what they will face next.
It is an exciting time to be a Condit Cat. By the time this article comes home in Wednesday folders we will have already had our first community meeting to provide feedback on the initial plans for a new building. The future is, indeed, now. Let’s celebrate all the great things we have at Condit now, and continue to dream big about what will be.