The Death of the Classroom,
Learning Cycles and Roger Schank
section 2 of 3 | designshare home


Environments for computer-learning, social leaning and active, learning by "doing," need not be located on school grounds. Museums, hospitals, businesses, parks and private homes are all environments which can support learning. The table below includes a list of  non-classroom environments which can facilitate a balanced cycle of learning activities:





Girl Watering Flower

Computer Learning

Work Station

Talking, Social Learning

Conference Area

Learning by Doing

Active Zone

  • Library carrel
  • 4-10 student
    work station*
  • Private work station
  • Hall niche with laptop
  • Garden bench
    with laptop
  • Home
  • Work station at
    employer office
  • Small conference rm.
  • Large meeting room
  • Media resource area
  • Hallway (standing)
  • Cafeteria
    or snack area
  • Garden steps, bench
  • Entry hall
  • Parking lot
  • Home
  • Tech or science lab
  • Shop
  • Garden
  • Dance studio
  • Playing field
  • Hospital
  • Retail store
  • Professional Office
  • Museum
  • Zoo
Spacer 175.gif (71 bytes) Spacer 175.gif (71 bytes) Spacer 175.gif (71 bytes)

Roger Schank's ideas regarding learning activities and cycles were tested and refined while developing training programs for private industry. Anderson Consulting, an international leader in business consulting, spends over $200 million each year on training it s project managers. While Schank was teaching at Yale University, Anderson offered him 30 million dollars to develop a program to "fix computer learning."  According to Schank, this did not interest him, instead, he told Anderson he wanted to "fix education."  Anderson brought Schank to Chicago to help found Northwestern University's Institute for Learning Sciences. ILS found that what was wrong with corporate training programs was that they were modeled after school and university learning models.The ILS steered Anderson away from the traditional classroom model and towards a "virtual learning" model.

* A good example of this can be see at the High School of Environmental Studies (Zoo School), In Apple Valley, MN, or the design for the Sharm El Sheikh School, Egypt, both planned by Bruce Jilk.  These plans utilize 10-12 student work groups arranged around a flexible, technology-rich resource area. For details: Sharm El Sheikh


< back,   May, 1999

     next >