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‘Open Schools’ Made Noise In The ’70s; Now They’re Just Noisy

NPR – Steve Drummond

“It’s a perennial debate in American education: Do kids learn best when they’re sitting in rows at their desks? Or moving around, exploring on their own? Back in the 1960s and ’70s, that debate led to a brand new school design: Small classrooms were out. Wide-open spaces were in. The Open Education movement was born. Across the U.S., schools were designed and built along these new ideas, with a new approach to the learning that would take place inside them. It was a response, historians say, to fears that the U.S. was falling behind in key subjects like science and math. The approach “resonated with those who believed that America’s formal, teacher-led classrooms were crushing students’ creativity,” Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, wrote in 2004.”(more)

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