Something there is that does not love a wall. But don’t tell that to teachers stuck in 70s-era, “open space” schools. The Baltimore Sun reports dozens of such schools in Maryland want to retrofit their buildings with walls to create classrooms.
The open-space school model, a British import, was embraced in the United States amid shifting social, cultural and political dynamics – the civil rights movement, the rise of feminism and anti-war protests – of the 1960s and ’70s, according to Larry Cuban, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. Americans were increasingly questioning notions of societal norms, including traditional thoughts on classroom and school organization and teaching methods, earning the model acclaim, he said.
“If you have those walls up,” one principal tells the paper, “you can have a dynamic conversation, and you don’t have to worry about the class next door. You can dance. Teaching is an art. It has to be engaging.”