editing disabled

The central purpose of Chapter 4 is to make the case that in order to build a 21st century reinvention and reform movement, educators must put into operation two classical, fundamental tenets: (1) form should always follow function; and (2) the whole is the sum of the parts.

Jacobs first reminds the reader that schools who wish to implement dynamic curriculum and instruction must consider four fundamental interlocking structures -- schedule, grouping patterns of learners, grouping patterns of professionals, and space.
Thus, four essential questions should govern programmatic structures used to support student learning:
  • What types of schedules will best support specific learners?
  • What various ways of grouping learners will assist them in their learning experiences?
  • How should faculty be configured to best serve students and assist one another?
  • In what ways can both physical and virtual space be created to support schools' work?

Jacobs then offers options for each of the four structures; several involve technology.

In her discussion of student scheduling options, she recommends use of videoconferencing, the Virtual Learning Magnet, and the creation of virtual schools as ways to address individual students' scheduling needs. Her comments on grouping learners focus on the question, "What grouping patterns would best help our learners meet their needs?" One suggestion she offers to answer this question is to consider on-line coursework as a way to meet an individual learner's grouping needs. When discussing the grouping of professionals, Jacobs suggests creating a network of educators throughout the nation and the world to share curriculum maps and examine units of study from a global perspective. By using one of several types of curriculum mapping software a teacher has access to any classroom teacher who has the same software.Jacobs also discusses social learning frameworks, but not in enough detail that I could understand how they work. Finally, she mentions the use of web-based field trips as a way to use virtual space.