...Waronker says the academy has learned to get better control over students, and, on the day I visited, the school was well disciplined through the use of a bunch of subtle tricks.Ed: The children need walls, so why not give them real walls?
For example, even though students move from one open area to the next, they line up single file, walk through an imaginary doorway, and greet the teacher before entering her domain.
I hadn't quite thought of it that way!
These kids need walls, but the Harvard-ed-school / Columbia Teachers College / UFT grownups, in their collective wisdom, have declined to provide them with walls. And David Brooks approves!
Does David Brooks live in a house without walls?
Work in an office without walls?
I bet he doesn't!
Why do we have walls, anyway? Why were walls invented? Does David Brooks ask himself these questions before he writes a column extolling giant classrooms with no walls? If rooms with no walls are such an all-fire great idea, how come nobody lives in geodesic domes? Answer me that, David Brooks!
And while we're on the subject of making disadvantaged children imagine the walls they need but don't have, how about imaginary books?
They've probably got all those things at the New American Academy. I wouldn't be surprised.
Ed says he visited an open classroom in California years ago. It was chaos, a din. No one could learn anything in that environment.
Of course, they hadn't hit on the idea of training the kids to pretend they were inside a room with walls.
P.S. I do like this column by David Brooks very much.
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