by Matt Candler

What the future of school might look like — as long as we don’t treat it like a silver bullet

I’m not the first person to talk about micro-schools. Small, human-scale schools have served as the preferred choice for most folks throughout the history of schooling. Unfortunately, industrial-age principles of scale efficiency and standardization introduced in the late 19th and early 20th century have completely overwhelmed common notions of what school should be. Most of us take it as given that schools are supposed to be big, impersonal and unable to respond nimbly to individual learner needs.

Now, listen. Before you go off and yell it from the roof tops that this is the silver bullet we’ve been waiting for, just chill. It’s not. There are no silver bullets in this work. I like micro-schooling precisely because it constrains us, it forces us to do small batch testing of new ideas, gets us closer to kids and families.

The intensely personal scale of micro-schooling reminds us that the work of educating the future of our democracy is perfectly imperfect, beautifully messy work.


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