Lately, when thinking about education, I feel like I’ve had a lot more questions than answers. Below is a collection of some of those questions that have been crossing my mind lately, specifically around design and education.
What if we designed school not by what content should be covered at any given age, but instead thinking first and foremost of the school experience? What would the day-to-day life of that school look like?
How often do schools intentionally think about the experience of the student? Not a discussion rooted in some arbitrary notion of “what’s my classroom like,” but instead a more focused, detailed look at school from the moment a student steps off the bus/out of the car to the moment they leave the building?
Regardless of the content taught at any given grade, the experience of school for any given student will go further to make them an active, curious learner throughout his or her lifetime. But how intentional are we about that design?
Why do we tend to quantify differentiation by content coverage and speed of instruction, or, if we’re really bold, the amount of “group work” students do?
Is there anything about modern education that we shouldn’t question right now? Are there immoveable objects in education that would only serve to cause unnecessary tension without the possibility of real change?
Why do we quantify the importance of instruction by minutes of instruction or facts covered rather than quality of experience?
How do we build quality professional development around the design of student experience rather than specific teaching “methods” or general notions of “pedagogy”?
Do we need to spend more time in the summer working collaboratively with our colleagues without the pressure of what we need to do tomorrow? Can true team teaching happen without design principles/methodology?
How do we convince communities of the value of experience design in education in a culture that has viewed education from a perspective that prioritizes content and curriculum over the last 100 years?
How do we provide support for change agents in education so they don’t burn out or give in to frustration?