Day 3: Dreaming about the Mobile School by @wmchamberlain #12DOD

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A 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.

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like you are dreaming of a thing which was already dreamed of (mind you for a tv show, but the concept still holds)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaker_High

    As a Canadian, I enjoyed that show immensely, but never considered it from the value of an educational perspective. But I love the idea.

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    1. Thank for the comment Quinn!

      I have never heard of that show but now I want to watch it. If nothing else just for the episodes titled, "To Kill a Mocking Nerd" and "Tomb with a View."

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  2. Thanks William for being a part of the 12 Days of Dreaming! I would send my boys to this school, as long as the Mrs. and I could join you!

    I don't know if there will ever be "The Never Ending Field Trip" school or not but what I thought about as i read this post is, how can we make learning authentic? If we can't physically take our students to the places they want to go, then how can we bring those places to our kids? That's something I think teachers can do know and there are many who are already.

    There are so many great elements to this dream school. Student centered, authentic learning, collaboration, creativity, and more. With or without our own Magic School Bus we can provide these things for our students. Thank you for reminding us to dream big and making me think about ways to make learning real for the students I impact!

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  3. William,
    It sounds like a wonderful school. It is like a real-life Magic School Bus. And Brett is right, we can make some of these things happen virtually today.

    Keep dreaming, everyone!
    Denise

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