Paradigm 2 Schools: Some Examples

Georgia Bracey, from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, commented with an important question regarding the existence of schools that might be based on the humanistic paradigm (Paradigm 2) outlined in the previous post. There are many schools around the nation that embody a humanistic, student-centered character. I’ll talk here about a few of them.

When I first moved to Atlanta, and began teaching geology and science education at Georgia State University, I made my first visit to a new school, The Galloway School and met the founder of the school, Elliott Galloway. Over a period of nearly thirty years, I was privileged to create internships at The Galloway School for our science education students at Georgia State University, first in the early 1970s, then from 1981 – 1983, and then from 1999 – 2001. The Galloway school was a community of learners, with its teachers establishing an environment of learning that was very different than many of the schools that I worked with over the years. I recall a mathematics teacher who was taking my graduate course in humanistic education talking about how he “taught” mathematics at Galloway. He said that he did mathematics with students when they were ready to do mathematics. His class was one of the most informal environments that I had visited, and it was clear that he embodied the attributes of the humanistic paradigm, especially the focus on innovative and flexible thinking. The Galloway School really was embodiment of Elliott Galloway the person, but his influence was so profound, that even after his retirement, the headmasters that followed (Dr. Joe Richardson was the first), maintained the student centered atmosphere that characterized the Galloway School.

Mr. Eliot Galloway, Founder and Headmaster, The Galloway School
Mr. Elliott Galloway, Founder and Headmaster, The Galloway School

The second school that I want to include in this post is the Paideia School, which was founded in 1971. Elliott Galloway was instrumental in helping establish this second school, and indeed, one of his teachers, Paul Bianchi became the headmaster, and has been the only headmaster of the school.

There are other examples of schools that I have been involved with over the years that embodied a humanistic spirit. In many of these cases, it was the headmaster, or the principal that was integral to the nature of the school. Dr. Jenny Springer, who I mentioned in the previous post, was principal of Dunwoody High School, and she and her faculty were deeply involved in the Global Thinking Project, and indeed, helped forge powerful and lasting relationships with schools in Russia, especially School 710, in Moscow. Another innovative school was Salem High School, in Conyers, Georgia. Under the principalship of Robert Cresswell, the school created an alternative environment in which students were seen as inquirers of learning, and teachers as coaches. Salem was also involved in the GTP, and a number of their teachers fostered relationships among American and Russian students and teachers.

Please let us know of a school that in your opinion is a paradigm 2 school.