PROCESS POST: Seeing the pedagogical master plans on a pin-board. #PedagogicalMasterPlanning

Why has campus master planning developed as a field of work?

  • Is it because we put such high value on land use, and we realize the scarcity-of-land dilemma…so we want to plan and plan and plan most carefully before we commit land and resources to construction?
  • Is it because campus master planning makes thinking visible? By constructing campus master plans, we can better visualize the way that academic centers, athletic complexes, art studios and theaters, and green spaces relate and complement and supplement each other?
  • Is it because the construction of buildings and hardscapes and landscapes seem so relatively permanent that we want to make sure that the engineering systems of plumbing, electrical, air, etc. are well-conceived so that we minimize future issues of wishing that we had put “that there and this here?”
  • Is it because we recognize the wisdom of soliciting input from the wider community about our use and intents with space and architecture?
  • [Fill in your good thinking and hypothesizing here…]

In Melanie Kahl’s October 1st MindShift article, “Recasting Teachers and Students as Designers,” Kahl wrote:

The design field covers the gamut of industries in art and science of making ideas, mindsets, and methodologies tangible. (emphasis added)

In my mind’s eye, I can see comparable graphics and imagery for pedagogical master planning. I can see bubble diagrams that relate a methodology like project-based learning to various assessment-feedback systems. I can see these in my mind – moving from hazy, grey images to sharper, clearer pictures – just like I can see on a campus master plan how the academic center and athletic facilities relate to each other. I can see how a school technology plan “fits” or doesn’t with the school’s move to integrating the Maker Movement into it’s STEM-STEAM-STREAM plans – just like I can see on a campus master plan how the systemic, infrastructure engineering schema optimize the flow of water and gas to the various buildings on campus.

What if we pursued design-based planning in the pedagogical and instructional domains at the level of detail constituted on campus master plans? What if we thought of standards, assessment, curriculum, pedagogy and instruction, professional development, and learning environments as the integrated and interrelated sub-systems that they are?

  • Would we value the systemic construction of minds and hearts to a more comparable degree to that of buildings, hardscapes, and landscapes?
  • Would we be more able to make our thinking visible and reveal such epiphanies as “our assessment model is misaligned with our plan to move to more challenge-based learning?” Would we realize that our selection of tech tools and furniture is not optimized with our habits-of-the-mind philosophies?
  • Would we re-think the design of the “school day” appreciating that faculty would HAVE TO HAVE TIME to collaborate on the overall scope and sequence of wisdom-and-understanding formation amongst our student learners? Would we re-imagine the flow of the “school day” to optimize what we are learning about the brain and neuroscience? Would we re-consider our existing definitions of what constitutes a “classroom?”
  • Would we enhance and improve the partnerships and teams we could have with parents, businesses, NGOs, and other people and organizations of the surrounding community…because our children’s educations are THAT important?
  • [Fill in your good thinking and hypothesizing here…]

Yes, I can see it in my mind’s eye – a beautiful set of detailed, designed, customized plans that SHOW VISIBLY the intersections and surrounds of standards, assessment, curriculum, pedagogy and instruction, professional learning, and learning environments. And I believe we are going to figure out how to create and optimize such plans at Unboundary. Then, we could place such plans on a pin-board wall and work to make certain that the construction phases, blueprints, engineering schema, and contracting notes are well-understood by the entire team – in this case…students, parents, faculty, business and social innovation partners, administrators, alumni, receiving colleges and universities, etc.

I can see it plainly. Can you?