Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, has a post on the components of “transformative” schools—schools, in his terminology, that go beyond content and skills and push students and educators into “realizing the best versions of ourselves.” Such schools seek to educate “the whole child” and develop into rich and sustaining communities. But it’s essential to keep in mind, Lehmann cautions, that there’s a lot of back-end work that goes into that:
This doesn't happen by serendipity. There has to be systems and structures that allow everyone access to these ideas. At SLA, those are the core values, the essential questions, the individualized learning plans, the capstones, Advisory and so many other systems, structures and processes that we have put in place to make our school about much more than a discrete set of classes. As so many kids have said at the end of their tenure at SLA, "You did more than teach us a way to learn, you taught us a way to live."
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.