Public spaces, like anything else, are evaluated for their effectiveness. The Project for Public Spaces (pps.org) uses a toll called the Place Diagram. It’s a tool that allows for the evaluation and consideration not just of the measurable items in a space, but also those intangibles. It’s important to consider all facets of the space- not just how many benches, but is it a welcoming space? These items are considered in The Place Diagram.
So often in education, only the measurable items are considered in evaluating a space even though much more goes into the learning culture of a school. There might be 1:1 computers at the school, but is the gentleman sitting at the reception desk warm and inviting to people who walk through the door. Does he de-escalate parents who come in heated or is he essentially just a check-in system? Below is a model for education that takes (and will take) these into account as it is further fleshed out. For now, the biggest departure in this from other tools out there is that 1.) this doesn’t generate a score or rating (which some people hate and some people love), 2.) it takes intangibles into account like The Place Diagram, and 3.) it is meant to be used to generate conversation about schools/learning environments, not grade them. A model for continuous improvement that doesn’t require quantification is a rare thing.
One of the cornerstones of this model is the inclusion of relationships to the evaluation of the school. While there may not be a lot of measurable parts and pieces to relationships, they speak volumes about the quality of teacher and the quality of the school. What could you provide as an artifact of the quality of relationships in your classroom school?