The question of whether or not a school can have multiple educational frameworks is one that has been asked before, and the answer is, of course. A school’s needs are never black and white, they are more often shades of grey, and so the framework solutions proposed must also be flexible. The great thing about frameworks is that they can be linked together like Tinkertoys, Lego pieces, or cogs, etc. and these designs can provide a school with the option of accommodating multiple teaching philosophies, adding another framework on top of an existing one (building upon what is already taking place at a school) and accommodating both staff and individual student frameworks, just to name a few scenarios.
A. Multiple Teaching Philosophies
Sometimes, as in the case of the Netherlands Inter-community School (NIS), a school will wish to accommodate two different philosophies and teaching styles, and yet have everyone meet a common school-wide vision, values and curriculum. At NIS, the school wanted the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) to be the curriculum of choice for both the Early and the Primary Years, along with its values; however, the Early Years program followed the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the Primary Years followed more of a thematic inquiry-based approach. In order to meet the needs of both the Early and Primary Years, two separate educational frameworks had to be designed that both used the IPC in their own way but yet still linked together, as seen in the “Tinkertoy” style models below:
Although the above example shows two frameworks linked just like Tinkertoys, any number of educational frameworks can be added and linked together.
B. Adding an Educational Framework on Top of an Existing Educational Framework:
A school may already have a strong existing working framework and want to add one or more ideological layers such as developing an innovator’s mindset within the staff. In this case, the additional educational framework(s) created will snap on top of the existing framework like a Lego piece, adding another layer but not detracting from anything already in place.
C. Staff & Student Frameworks:
A third scenario that a school may wish to create is separate school, staff and student frameworks that link together and move in unison, yet are individualized – like interconnecting cog wheels. This option would suit a school that is looking at allowing students to move through curriculums at their own pace and based on their own interests. In such an instance, staff frameworks that linked to the overall school’s vision would be developed, and from there separate student frameworks and accompanying planners would be created to support their learning.
The above scenarios represent a few of the options a school may choose to develop. Every school has its unique requirements and thus every school will be provided with its own distinctive and customized solution. A school should never have to “fit in” to a framework solution, educational frameworks should fit the school and its needs.