Shopfront Schools

From Alexander Patterns:


*...the Children's Home provides the beginning of learning and forms the foundation of the Network Of Learning in a community. As children grow older and more independent, these patterns must be supplemented by a mass of tiny institutions, schools and yet not schools, dotted among the living functions of the community.

Around the age of 6 or 7, children develop a great need to learn by doing, to make thir mark on a community outside the home. If the setting is right, these needs lead children directly to basic skills and habits of learning.

The right setting for a child is the community itself, just as the right setting for an infant learning to speak is his own home.

Instead of building large Public Schools for children 7 to 12, set up tiny independent schools, one school at a time. Keep the school small, so that its overheads are low and a teacher-student ratio of 1:10 can be maintained. Locate it in the public part of the community, with a shopfront and three or four rooms.

Place the school on a Pedestrian Street; near other Self Governing Workshops And Offices and within Walking distance of an Accessible Green. Make it an identifiable part of its Building Complex; and give it a good strong Opening To The Street.*

This pattern makes reference to MOBOC, or the Mobil(e) Open Classroom directed by Charles Rusch. Aaron Swartz has written about that .

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