Sunday, March 13, 2011

Creating my IDEAL School: Grammar School, part 3

This is my ideal school, right? Kind of a dream school, yes? Because what I'm about to describe will probably make you all say, "Yeah, in your dreams." So, I'll agree with you from the start.

The girls and I spent a lot of time at various kinds of children's and living history museums on the east coast, thanks to homeschooling and the opportunities to go on numerous field trips. A book I read once talked about how children's museums do a better job of educating kids than schools do. And they do sometimes, because they have a lot of advantages over the classroom teacher. Bigger budgets, for one thing. But the good children's museums are very hands-on and interactive. They allow kids to spend as much time as they want in the different areas and exhibits. They are memorable and fun.

So, here's my proposal: I think every school system should run their own children's museum. (The really small districts can work together with other small districts to have a museum in common that they all use.) They should have rotating exhibits (they could even be traveling exhibits among various districts) timed with the unit study topics being studied in the grammar schools.

Teachers like Mr. from my first grammar school post can schedule time in the museum for his advisory group whenever he would like during the unit. They can explore the Ancient Greece exhibit on their own, or sometimes he can teach a lesson in a particular area, using the materials and resources from the museum, saving himself the time and money of creating such a display.

Even better, the museum can employ people who can teach lessons in character -- like Pericles explaining to a new group of Athenian citizens how their democracy works. Or Archimedes demonstrating how he figured out the king's crown wasn't made of pure gold. (Sorry, I'm on a Greek jag lately.) High school students can do work in the museum during certain units as special projects -- or help create the exhibits.

Since eventually the grammar schools will come back to Ancient Greece in their rotation of unit study topics, all the materials for the exhibit can be stored away for next time, saving time and money the second time around. Businesses can sponsor certain exhibits that are in line with their work -- like a bank sponsoring an exhibit on economics. Homeschooling parents could use the museum, too, as well as the primary school teachers. Seriously, it would be QUITE cool, wouldn't it?

As I said, it's a dream. But I can dream, can't I?

1 comment:

Vianelli and Eastin said...

soon, it won't be a dream mom. It'll be a life.