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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Closing Open classrooms

From the Orlando Sentinel-

SANFORD - When the open-classroom concept waltzed through Florida nearly 40 years ago, Central Florida heard the tune, quickly got in step and followed along.

The idea was to build classrooms as huge open spaces where several teachers were teamed to instruct up to 120 students. The communal-learning atmosphere was heralded as an improvement over the traditional, self-contained classroom with a single teacher.

But what schools got were 120 kids milling around in a big, noisy room without doors.

Seminole County alone built 15 open-classroom schools in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Other Central Florida counties also bought into the craze -- Orange, Volusia, Lake, Osceola, Polk and Brevard all had some of the schools -- but Seminole was the most enthusiastic.

The open schools' shortcomings were soon evident, and school districts have spent millions of taxpayers' dollars for decades to correct them.
After moving to Florida in 1976, I attended Deerfield Beach High School for grades ten to twelve. DBHS(Which opened in 1970 or 1971) had open classrooms in the History and Art departments. I never took any art classes, but attended classes in the history area. The ability to have people walk through the classroom(Some teachers would instruct students to go around another way) was always a distraction to both teachers and students. For example, a Speech instructor, Ms. Gabriel had a closed classroom at the end of the hall. You couldn't enter by the main hallway(because you'd have to pass through 2 open classrooms) but by a doorway opening to a stairwell. Still anyone who came through this door to go to Ms. Gabriel's class, had to pass through a small part of a open classroom.

I thought open classrooms were a dumb design idea thirty years ago. It is long past time for Florida to be eliminating them.

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