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The Goals and Mechanics of the Pilots

Research Goals:

  1. To gain insight into what happens when students in traditional schools are given a little more control over their learning.
  2. To advance our understanding of the role of the teacher as a facilitator of learning.
  3. To explore change management processes that could be effective for public school reform.

 

Mechanics:

  1. The pilot programs can run for one or two semesters each school year.
  2. Each one operates as a one-room schoolhouse accommodated as a school within the community school that the students would normally attend. Their classroom becomes their home-away-from-home. (See how the CHIP students arranged their room.)
  3. The pilots are designed to accommodate approximately 25 students.
  4. The students are to be a mix of ages, abilities and other characteristics. The goal is to have as representative a cross-section of the general school population as possible.
  5. Students choose to take the program. The only criteria is that they sincerely want to experience the democratic approach to learning.
  6. The pupil:teacher ratio is to be in the range of 25:1.
  7. Two teachers are assigned to the program. One works with the students in the morning, the other in the afternoon. The other half of their school day is spent fulfilling duties in the regular program.
  8. The teachers role is that of mentor, facilitator, co-learner and model student.
  9. Timetabling is eliminated freeing students to work at their own pace and according to their own learning style.
  10. Students work on approved Ministry of Education curriculum and are expected to acquire the same number of course credits as they would in the regular program. They are also required to write the same final exams as their counterparts in the regular program.
  11. A minimum of five programs each implemented for a minimum of five years is recommended. The results of these pilots are too important to risk a wrong conclusion from running too few of them for too short a period. The greater the number of pilots being run, the greater the sharing of best practices, and the greater the opportunity to study how to expose students to the best subject experts employed by the school board. (See: The equitable and maximal management of expert resources.)
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