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ERIC Number: ED361159
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Small Is Too Big: Achieving a Critical Anti-Mass in the High School.
Gregory, Tom
Developing more effective conceptions of the high school may require radically reducing its size. In today's big high schools, size ensures that control of students is a primary concern and prevents the development of a collegial atmosphere among teachers. Although research provides ample evidence of the superior social climates of small informal high schools, these schools have been presumed to have inevitable high costs and program limitations. Such deficits are inevitable only when stuck in the big bureaucracy model of education. When a school is small enough, students can be trusted with responsibility, control is not a central issue, an individualized program makes sense, and every student and teacher has a say in how the school is run. At Jefferson County (Colorado) Open High School, about 240 students control their own education by designing individual education plans that meet the school's 24 graduation expectations and 6 major experiences ("passages" to adulthood). Personal advisors and advisory groups provide support. Teachers divide their time among teaching, advising, and doing school planning and paperwork. Weekly all-school meetings are run by students and promulgate all rules. Extended field trips provide "passages" experiences. The school operates on the same funding schedule as large traditional high schools in the same county because much less overhead goes to administrators, teaching specialists, and support personnel. The leap from the bureaucratic industrial model of schooling to smaller, more personal schools is a paradigm shift that will require policymaker tolerance and support. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A