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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

If Students Ruled . . .

If Students Ruled . . .

By Dr. Ryan Donlan
Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Leadership
Bayh College of Education
Indiana State University

            If students ruled K-12 education, we might find a change or two around here.  I wonder what kids would come-up with, in terms of school redesign, by decree . . .

Hallways would be places to slow down and make friends, rather than places to “move along.”

Teachers would reclaim the ability to spend more time on the units they like, because the fun would rub-off. 

Adults would respond each morning like long-distance grandparents when kids arrive.

Exclamation points would be removed from all signs, unless they’re celebrating something. 

Student handbooks would stop being hammers and “all other things as proscribed.”

Bathroom stalls would have doors attached; soap containers would be full.

Everyone could eat and drink, all day long.

The principal WOULD be a “pal.”

Teachers would smile more and “pace” less.

Adults would stop taking cuts in the lunch line.

Recess would ROCK!  It would be protected.

Librarians would again be allowed to spend their time helping children select good books.

School would start a bit later in the morning.

Each classroom would have a Keurig, refrigerator, and overstuffed couch.

Electronic devices would be encouraged as learning and social media tools.

These ideas aren’t really so radical, are they? 
Many of us are even recognizing our own schools here.

What might we get if kids ruled and wanted to move beyond these basic notions of “school redesign” above, to something bigger, like SCHOOL REIMAGINATION.

Who might they employ? 
Would it be us?


Dr. Ryan Donlan loves envisioning what school would be if we were not addicted to notions of educational manufacture designed years and years ago.  If you would like to offer your own dream for what school could be, from the eyes of a child, or even to ask this very question of a child and relay what you hear, please consider giving him a call at 812-237-8624 or by writing at 

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