In recent decades, the populations in major urban areas across the country have become increasingly diverse in terms of their ethnicities, languages, and economics, and within these evolving contexts many of our schools have struggled to produce good learning results for substantial numbers of their students. Our schools have tried to be fair to all they serve by using similar instructional methods, materials, and technology, and comparable schedules, facilities, and funding, but the outcomes realized for many students are seriously worrisome in terms of their abilities to succeed in our economy in the future. The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated this problem. Diverse Students, Diverse Outcomes: Portal Schools for Access to Diverse Teaching and Learning proposes ways to preserve our enormous staff and facility investments in order to provide schooling that will help different students learn in different ways and in the process make education much more attractive and engaging for all concerned—and thereby more economical. The concepts outlined are enriched by perspectives of other building types and supplemented with brief descriptions of twenty-eight schools created over the last fifty years that have been very successful—yet from which we seem to have learned little.
Frank S. Kelly, FAIA is an architect, teacher, and author/lecturer with a focus on K-12 teaching and learning. He has worked with school districts across the U.S. to help plan school facilities with a focus on asking teachers and students how they would want teaching and learning to work in their new school—and then helping them imagine environments to support that. He has previously co-authored two books: Teaching the Digital Generation: No More Cookie-Cutter High Schools and Learning Without Classrooms: Visionary Designs for Secondary Schools.
Chapter 1. Our Evolving Cities and Schools: Teaching and Learning Must Change
Chapter 2. Schools for the Future: Instruction, Technology, Time, Spaces, Community, Funding
Chapter 3. Creating Portal Schools
Chapter 4. Learning From Other Building Types
Chapter 5. Slow Learners? Great Ideas and Great Schools Ignored
Chapter 6. Epilogue
About the Author
In so many ways our educational system has remained in the 18th century except for the tools we use. Frank S. Kelly provides a different lens in assessing the past and designing the future which yields new possibilities that align with a diverse world. He understands the complex dynamics that structure our learning institutions and pushes our thinking beyond the limitations that so ardently keep us in the past.
In Diverse Students, Diverse Outcomes: Portal Schools for Access to Diverse Teaching and Learning, Frank S. Kelly provides an excellent analysis of American schools and schooling. The focus on the massive changes in diversity, both from the standpoint of inputs and outputs, is studied in depth and as a result educate readers on the correlations between the changing diversities. The need for massive changes in funding mechanisms, scheduling techniques, architectural design, and desired learning outcomes are provocative topics for consideration by all interested parties.
Frank S. Kelly’s Diverse Students, Diverse Outcomes: Portal Schools for Access to Diverse Teaching and Learning is a visionary book by a world-class educational thinker and writer. Exhaustively researched, Kelly meticulously examines the many long-standing assumptions that support traditional, urban high schools, considers the growing challenges created by diverse urban populations, and carefully outlines how Portal Schools can be tailored to meet the needs of the students and communities they are intended to serve. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to move beyond simple rhetoric to decisive action in bringing educational vision into practice.