From the Field

Campus Matters: Classrooms and ORs

From Michael Haggans, in his always provocative series of essays posted in Campus Matters comes this elegantly argued case for paying attention to classrooms, challenging the community to identify and address 21st century questions when thinking about 21st century classrooms. He challenges us all to see the campus and OR as an ecosysterm for learning, an approach which invalidates 20th century questions about what a classroom is and should be.

—Jeanne Narum

Operating rooms are to hospitals as classrooms are to colleges and universities – mission critical.

They are tiny parts of an institution’s footprint yet essential to the mission. Hospital administrators pay attention to ORs. Provosts rarely give classrooms a second thought. In the digital transformation of higher education effective learning environments are becoming more critical, not less. Inattention to classrooms and learning spaces can be an Achilles heel.



From the Archives

The Engagement Gap

Making Each School and Every Classroom an All-Engaging Learning Environment
A Report on the Spring 2016 ASCD Whole Child Symposium

Significant time, attention, and resources have been directed toward closing the persistent achievement gap in our K–12 public education system. The same, however, cannot be said about solving the “engagement gap.” Because achievement is unlikely to improve if students are not engaged in their education, finding ways to close the engagement gap is an essential goal to ensure that high school seniors graduate well prepared for the rigors of college and careers—and become well rounded, successful, contributing members of society.

But what exactly is the “engagement gap,” why is it important, and what have education professionals learned about what works in narrowing or eliminating it?

In May 2016, ASCD convened a Whole Child Symposium that brought together education experts with deep knowledge of research, school administration, classroom teaching, and professional development to answer these questions. These educators led a conversation about how each school and every classroom can become an all-engaging learning environment.

The symposium, the fourth in a series, provides a forum for education professionals to discuss today’s pressing education issues. These symposia aim to elicit varied viewpoints and recommend actions that each of us, regardless of our areas of influence, can take to improve education systems, processes, and outcomes.

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