Mark Silberberg has a tough nut to crack. As the middle school principal for Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York City, he leads his faculty and students on a progressive education journey. Naturally, curriculum is at the heart of it. But for the last few years both Silberberg and his teachers have come to believe that the school schedule is at odds with the values embedded in the curriculum.
“For a school that has a value of integrated curriculum driven by inquiry, we have a schedule structured very tightly around the different disciplines,” says Silberberg. His team is in favor of changing the school day format, but feels overwhelmed by the topic. “When you say, ‘Let’s do something about it,’ the reaction can be ‘well, it wasn’t so bad,’ because the idea of change can be overwhelming.”
But “not so bad” didn’t cut it for