The Death of the Classroom,
Learning Cycles and Roger Schank

Randall Fielding

"Classrooms are out! No more classrooms! Don’t build them!"
Roger Schank, Institute for Learning Sciences


Roger SchankDo these sound like the words of a radical outsider? Schank is no outsider to the educational establishment. He is the director of Northwestern University's Institute for Learning Sciences. He holds three faculty appointments at Northwestern, as John Evans Professor of Computer Science, Education, and Psychology. Previously, he was professor of computer science and psychology at Yale, a visiting professor at the University of Paris and a faculty member at Stanford.
       According to Roger, the only way we learn is through "doing," and failure. Failure gets our attention, it fosters an emotional response, which is essential for learning. "Doing," and emotional experiences rarely take place in a classroom.

"We should spend about 1/3 of our day at the computer, 1/3 talking with others, and 1/3 making something."


Learning CycleWhat are the environmental implications if  learners are spending 1/3 of their day at the computer, 1/3 talking with others and 1/3 making something?
       Computer-based learning is best suited to an individual work station, not a classroom. Talking or social learning lends itself to small, coffee shop-like spaces, where learners can gather informally. Learning by "doing" can happen in a wide variety of environments, including gardens, science labs, technical shops and dance studios. , May, 1999

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