ERIC Number: ED359932
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
The Ralph Bunche Computer Mini-School: A Design for Individual and Community Work. Technical Report No. 29.
Newman, Denis; And Others
In the fall of 1990, seven teachers at the Ralph Bunche School, a public elementary school in Harlem (New York) began an experiment in school restructuring they called the Computer Mini-School. An unexpected outcome of the project was an increase in standardized test scores among their 120 students. This outcome is explored. It is argued that the greater sense of stability and community that the program brought about was a contributing factor. The background and history of the project are traced. Students and teachers developed a tradition of staying outside school hours, in many cases adding to the instructional time available. A whole language approach to literacy was used, and computers were used extensively for student writing and a student newspaper. From the experiences of the Ralph Bunche School, the following principles for design of a project-based school are presented: (1) students and teachers take increasing responsibility; (2) workplaces are the units of work and communication; and (3) connecting the local area network and wide area networks, such as the Internet, is very useful. The sense of community and emotional belonging that became possible with the smaller class sizes, educational technology, and teacher sense of ownership were probable contributors to improved achievement test scores. Two figures illustrate the discussion. (Contains 5 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Gains, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Networks, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Literacy, Outcomes of Education, School Restructuring, Scores, Standardized Tests, Student Attitudes, Test Results, Urban Schools, Whole Language Approach, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Technology in Education, New York, NY.