Giving Compass' Take:

· The Christensen Institute's Thomas Arnett talks with Kareem Farah and Rob Barnett about their non-traditional instructional approaches in the classroom and their nonprofit called the The Modern Classrooms Project.

· What is different about Farah and Barnett's "modern" classroom approach? How does it affect teachers and students? 

· Read about another modern approach to education–flexible learning environments.

As a K-12 researcher, I visit a fair number of classrooms. But rarely do I walk away as excited as I felt after visiting Kareem Farah’s classroom. A few years ago, Kareem and his colleague, Rob Barnett—both of whom were math teachers at Eastern High School in Washington DC—dramatically overhauled the conventional classroom model to better meet the learning needs of their students. Their model sparked my enthusiasm because it is exactly what I had wished for when I was teaching middle school math.

While their nontraditional instructional approaches are similar to those I’ve seen in other places, what’s unique about their model is that it is designed by teachers for teachers—and positions teachers, rather than top-down programs, as agents of change. Their model offers a low-cost, straightforward approach to blended instruction that other teachers can adopt and customize with relatively little expense or administrative coordination.

Kareem and Rob now run a nonprofit called the The Modern Classrooms Project to support other teachers interested in adopting the duo’s blended, self-paced, mastery-based practices. After my visit, I checked in with them to capture in their own words what makes the Modern Classroom Project worthwhile for teachers.

Read the full article about a modern classroom model by Thomas Arnett at the Christensen Institute.