“The model is inspired by the success of home-schoolers,” he said. Students will set their class schedules, enabling them to learn at their pace and in their styles. Teachers will act as advisers, not taskmasters.
As for homework, “the one-size-fits-all [model] mandated in today’s schools is largely counterproductive,” Shusterman says in a slide presentation he uses to sell his idea. School for Tomorrow will have a home reading requirement and “encourage and support individualized, student-initiated homework.”
Much of Shusterman’s plan is inspired by John Dewey, a 20th-century educational philosopher whose devotees have called for teachers to be “guides on the side, not sages on the stage.” Dewey led a movement called progressive education in which, he said, children learn best when pursuing individual projects that allow them to explore their world.
Many teachers, in both private and public schools, use project-based learning to a degree. But at School for Tomorrow, Shusterman said, every course and project will be linked to this question: What does a high school graduate need to know and need to be able to do to thrive in college, the workplace and life in the 21st century?