Rhythmic Learning or Scheduled Learning?

One of the ideas behind the design of the Mosaic Collective involves the elimination of a bell schedule and classes as we traditionally know them.

I’ve been thinking about this more and more. We often describe this idea and its need as one of an elimination of unnecessary distractions and artificial time constraints. Thinking deeper, however, it seems to come down to two words: schedule and rhythm.

How does rhythm differ from schedule?

I see a schedule as planned events with times often assigned to each – these events are usually listed and may have no real relation to each other and may be listed in chronological order. Scheduled activities have beginning times and ending times. In high school, these times are marked by the ringing of a “bell,” which now days is really a loud electronic noise that seems to yell, “Next!” and “Leave!”

Rhythm implies flow. There’s a fluid, flowing quality from one activity to another, movements are purposeful and not random or arbitrary. They are intrinsically motivated driven by the quality of the activities and thinking involved.

No bell schedule will mean more flow and rhythm, but it will also mean more tardies and attendance issues. Bells really serve as cues; it’s the classes that are the schedule. Rhythmic learning in Mosaic may result in 14 minutes of science one day and 3 hours the next… of days with no real “breaks” and others with long periods of that involve a break in activity (to no doubt think, process, brainstorm, and reflect).

Our environment will be real and natural … Mosaic teachers will “conduct” our Learning Symphony with keen eyes for pattern and opportunity. That’s really why we’re eliminating the bell schedule, not necessarily because of distraction and other perceived cons, but because we value the beauty of rhythm and flow and the internal and intrinsic, as opposed to superficial and poorly veiled measures of crowd control.



What analogy can you share that relates rhythm and learning?

I’m working on one that involves breathing in and breathing out. Future post?

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