In order to facilitate efforts to develop, examine, and pursue designs for schools and for learning experiences in general, the attached course module (pdf) provides a brief introduction to central aspects of school design and considers key questions about the purposes, values, and cultures of learning.
Designing a school can begin with almost any aspect of the school, including the purpose, the overall vision, a theory of action, or a key motivating idea to drive the design. But wherever the design begins, questions of purpose, vision, and theory of action all need to be engaged; further, whether designers emphasize curriculum, or assessment or professional development or community engagement or school culture, they have to strive to keep all elements and their interconnections in mind.
The goals of this module include building an awareness of the many designs for learning and school designs that are already being developed and fostering abilities to reflect on and craft connections between the purposes for learning, the goals for learning, and the elements that support learning. While the focus of this module is on creating schools, the goals include raising questions about the need for schools (and the many conventional structures that go with them).