Day 3: Dreaming about the Mobile School by @wmchamberlain #12DODA couple years ago I ran into a question on Edutopia asking about what my favorite dream school would be like. I spent some time thinking about it and this is what I came up with. My dream school would be a touring bus with six students with ages between 10 and 14. It would have a professional driver, professional chef, and me as the teacher.
The bus would travel around six of the continents (don’t even think about taking it to Antarctica, although we would still visit on a boat.) We would study great scientific and historic sites as we travelled. We would travel to Williamsburg, Virginia to learn about colonial times, Gettysburg for the Civil War, the Leaning Tower of Pisa to learn about gravity, the Galapagos Islands to learn about Darwinism, and all of France to learn about culinary arts.
We would pick up content experts as we travel to give us background knowledge. They would stay with us as they shared their knowledge. Parents would also be encouraged to travel with us as they had the time. They would share in the learning with us!
The students would be able to choose what they wanted to learn, they would ‘drive’ the curriculum. To share their learning the students could create content and a mechanism to share it. One student might decide to write travel guides which we would publish (probably in Germany while we learned about Gutenberg and the movable type press.) Another may choose to create a website and video webisodes of their travels sharing what they learn from each stop. A third might want to draw/paint/sculpt along the way inspired by the travelling, while a fourth may choose to compose and perform music.
The adults on the bus would be expected to learn and share their learning as well. Perhaps the driver would participate in a NASCAR driving experience while we learned about how cars worked. The chef may want to take cooking classes as we travel to incorporate different foods into our diet (hello, New Orleans!) I would be actively pursuing trying to visit every art museum I could find. I would also throw in a few concert stops for some of my favorite musicians.
The real benefit to this school would be sharing these experiences with this small community while at the same time creating a much larger community to share the learning with. Not only would we meet intelligent and interesting people on our travels, but we could share with others outside of our experiences using social media.
Now if I can only get sponsored by the Gates Foundation or George Lucas.....
William Chamberlain teaches at Noel Elementary School in Noel, Missouri where he graduated from the 8th grade in 1983. He is a husband and proud parent of four exceptional daughters. He graduated from Missouri Southern State College with a BS in Elementary Ed and from William Woods University with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction.