Whereas the modern, traditional classroom typically has a focal point, a central figure or purpose, let’s imagine a classroom with multiple centers and shared leadership. We learn, in such a space, that the world is multi-perspectival. For example, someone who thrives in one context may need help in another; those who might be considered “at risk,” can have much to share and teach if they can find the proper context to access their gifts.
A learning space that is shaped physically with multiple centers can also be a space for a diversity of ideas. We are confronted with challenges that are largely caused by our conventional patterns of thought, and therefore the solutions require new patterns and ideas. To do so, it requires us to recognize that each individual brings a unique and valuable perspective. For example, a teacher may have a master’s degree, and that knowledge and experience is valuable and should be honored by the student. But a student may also bring a range of experiences – a veritable PhD in their own life – that should also be honored.
Lastly, each individual is diverse in that they possess a range of qualities that make up a whole person. A complete learning process involves each aspect of the human, not just the intellectual. Moreover, getting to know oneself involves a recognition of this internal diversity, even when we are confronted with contradictions. The Self can at once embody contradictory elements; embracing the paradoxical nature of our selves is a pathway to self-acceptance and -compassion and compassion for others.
Reimagining the Classroom
– By Theodore Richards
Danielle DuPuis (she/her) is a library media specialist and video production teacher at a public high school in Maryland. A good portion of her work revolves around meeting the needs of students and teachers through technology, resources, and books. She enjoys collaborating, learning new things, and finding ways to bring visibility and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community through her daily work.
As a creative, Danielle has co-authored 4 professional resource books for educators and has dreams of becoming a published children’s and young adult author.
Danielle and her family live in the Baltimore area and enjoy taking hikes and exploring new adventures together. Her free time is spent reading, writing, and enjoying the company of friends.