The Bronx Guild: A Big Picture School and Q2L — The Future of Education?

I visited two schools over Spring Break.  One project based school based on the Big Picture model where teams of 15 students and 1 faculty member travel through the four years of high school together interning two days of the week and working on their core curriculum during their days at school.  The other was Quest 2 Learn, a school based around systems design and using games to teach and learn.

In both I saw glimpses of the future, but both made me feel uncomfortable too.  Letting go of teacher as the source of information is scary.  We have been doing this for a long time.

What both schools seemed to get was that it’s about personal relationships with kids and helping them grow up is critical.  Both had positive environments where kids felt supported and could ask questions about the system that they existed.  The kids were involved with making their schools better.  I think that is a key part of this equation.

We have a lot to explore here.

Posted via email from Alex Ragone’s Posterous


3 thoughts on “The Bronx Guild: A Big Picture School and Q2L — The Future of Education?

  1. I’m really curious to hear your impressions of the Q2L. I’ve been looking into the role video games can play in education and Q2L seems to be one of the biggest pilot projects out there. I haven’t been able to find any updates on how they are doing though. Their website has its latest news dating back to 2009. I’d love to hear about personal impressions, what problems they’re running into, and how their coping.

  2. Q2L seems to be doing as well as any first year school can be doing. The course work that the students were doing in multiple programming environments was impressive. The lens of systems thinking on all of their other classes seems like it will be a good way to learn the core subjects.

    When I was there they were doing lots of data gathering and I would expect to see some data coming out of Q2L or the NYC DOE as Q2L is a public school (note it’s not a charter).

    Honestly, I’m not sure that testing will measure the benefits of a school like Q2L.

    If you’re interested in this type of work, I’d also check out Big Picture Schools and the New Tech Network. Both project based schools.

  3. I guess I should keep an eye on the Q2L website then. I’m mostly interested in the role that video games can play in learning. Big Picture and New Tech Network seem like good initiatives but not focused on the application of video games. I’m curious to see if video games will turn out to be a feasible and productive teaching instrument when more widely implemented (like in Q2L). Thanks for the info 🙂

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