Today, I continued to explore and research the idea of master planning in schools. I am particularly interested in processing through complex thoughts about the purposeful design and architecture of school pedagogy. Here are a few of my take-aways from today’s research:
1. Googling “campus master planning” and “pedagogical master planning” (and some related search strings) resulted in about 3:1 results for campus master planning. In fact, I think the ratio is skewed. Many of the finds in “pedagogical master planning” turned out to be campus master plans when I searched the links more deeply. None of the links I explored in “campus master planning” turned out to be pedagogical master planning hidden in the gross results. Does this imply that we are at least three times more committed to planning the physical campus than we are to planning the pedagogical campus? [Please forgive my crude statistical analysis here. I’m still working at the surface of this search.]
2. The best (only?) examples of pedagogical master planning that I could find (so far) come from Australia. I was impressed by the concepting and work being done at the Southern Metropolitan Region in Victoria, Australia. From a PowerPoint deck, I could see great potential and excitement around the work. And in a PDF of the workshopping materials, I was captivated by a four-degree rubric for vision, curriculum implementation, pedagogy, personalized learning, etc. The only U.S. examples that I have located thus far are from universities and large public systems, and many of those seem to cross into big-picture strategic planning without much architectural detail, or into campus master planning.
3. In looking at about 30 campus master plans, I was struck by their common approach to mapping. Many, if not all, of the campus plans included color-coded legends that showed 1) existing construction, 2) phase I new construction, 3) phase I renovation, 4) phase II new construction, 5) phase II renovation, etc. I wonder if we could demonstrate the existence of such a plan with regard to pedagogical master planning in schools. In a faculty and administration of, let’s say, 200 people, could we discover a universally agreed upon sense of 1) which traditional pedagogies were to remain in place, 2) which “new” pedagogies would emerge systemically in phase I, 3) which consequential renovations would therefore need to take place in terms of classroom design, technology use, communication to parents, etc?
The searching and thinking will continue…