“Broken School”: a methodology that provides for the teacher to integrate into the group of students

A decomposed school (or class) is specifically designed to be a welcoming place, where you can adopt an innovative type of teaching at the center of which are the children, protagonists of their learning.

It is therefore a kind of school-home, expressly designed for the well-being of students, who work not always in the same classroom, but in different laboratories, designed for skills.
In this way, the school location is “broken down”, both physically and conceptually. In fact, it is divided into many small places that carry different skills, useful for creating the final puzzle that should characterize each student.

Beyond the classroom: common areas and aggregation

In a typical decomposed classroom, the commonly intended spaces are completely deconstructed: for example, you will find desks moved along the walls, one next to the other, for children who need to study at school.

Then there will be some places outside the classroom, used as common spaces, where to stay, discuss books, communicate, debate, reflect with others in collective moments.
And if the students wanted to read books (paper and non-paper), or relax, or even write their thoughts on a diary, there would be a sitting area for them. A sprawling school also has workstations for watching films collaboratively (cineforum), and others used for web conferences.

The teacher-learner relationship

These and many others are therefore the spaces and tools that learners can freely enjoy in a decomposed classroom, within an environment that puts them at ease and without architectural barriers.

It is true that the freedom of action of learners could create some difficulties for teachers.

In fact, the fact that they are free to get up, sit on the benches, aggregate independently, leave the classroom to go to other classes, listen to music or watch videos without having to ask for explicit permission from the teachers, represents a challenge from the point of logistical and organizational view.

It will therefore take an effort on the part of teachers to integrate into the group of pupils, in order to become “one of them” thanks to an assiduous participation in group work.
In this way, the teacher will not find himself asking the students – when needed for the frontal lessons – to get back into the classical school set-up (desks and chair in front): it will be almost natural for them to do this to be more comfortable – when they have to open their books or notebooks to take notes, looking at the blackboard.

Rules and conduct

As we have seen, in the sprawling school students interact freely with classmates and other teachers. We therefore try to create a peaceful space and a collaborative atmosphere: all this, however, always respecting the rules.

It is in fact common fear of teachers that this type of environment makes teaching difficult, since it is too dispersive for some types of pupils.This could be true to the extent that, to the latter, they are not aware of the criteria with which they will be assessed that, obviously, they also include conduct.

Skills, evaluation and UoA

The decomposed class, in fact, adopts such spaces because they are useful for developing all the skills that Europe has long required of the modern school, including citizenship and those relating to the use of new technologies.

From the teaching point of view, they convey to various UdAs (learning units), which the teachers plan and communicate to the pupils – also by putting up placards in the common areas.
It will be on their achievement that the evaluation will be based.

For their part, pupils will also be able to realize their progress: this is possible through online self-assessment modules that the school makes available to pupils so that they, in the most objective way possible, try to understand up to how far they have progressed on their learning journey.
Evaluation and self-evaluation modules are then compared, in order to understand if there are critical issues or too obvious deviations between the point of view of the learner and that of the teacher: in this way, the two continue to dialogue until the end of their journey together.

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