This morning exemplified perfectly my hopes for and faith in small connected communities.
I was awake relatively early and checking overnight action from my RSS feeds. I noticed Harold Jarche’s post about social business.
I commented on Harold’s post and within a few minutes I received a response from Harold with a link to his 2006 post about the one-room school. Harold’s suggested that small schools, loosely joined:
- With access to the Internet a one-room school would have to reach out to the rest of the world and not be wrapped in the confines of the industrial school. Schools would have to seek out partnerships and not be isolated islands.
- Communities of learning online could be developed to link learners in several schools and even in different countries.
- No teacher would be able to “master” the subject matter, so teachers would become facilitators of learning, which is what they profess to do anyway .
- Small schools would be integrated into the community and there would be a sense of ownership by the community, not the education system.
- Most children would be able to walk to school, therefore eliminating busses, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging exercise.
- Children and parents could have more than one school to choose from.
- Sales of industrial school buildings could be used as financial capital for the transition.
He concluded that “the one-room school, grounded in its community but linked to a world of learners, is a model that deserves to be tested.”
This early morning exchange between early morning Mongarlowe NSW and late afternoon Sackville, New Brunswick illustrates for me the possibilities for vibrant connections. It is made even poignant for me as I live next door to a former one-room school on Clyde Street.
Albert Canyon School House Site