Parents pull children out of Catholic open-plan classrooms

Screenshot from The Daily Telegraph

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Catholic schools in Sydney will forge ahead with open-plan classrooms of 200 students despite parents pulling their children out of schools and teachers quitting, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The Catholic Education Office's Parramatta diocese executive director, Greg Whitby, said about 100 students had left schools since group lessons for entire grades - and in some cases, entire schools - began a year ago.

Educators had faced strong opposition from parents, who disagreed with schools abandoning classrooms for large learning spaces for 60 to 200 children and several teachers, Mr Whitby said.

"We had some very vocal parents and very critical parents," he said.

"They were concerned that it wasn't like the school they went to, that the child would get lost and wouldn't get looked after, or that the teacher didn't have control."

Mr Whitby said some teachers had also struggled with the dramatic overhaul to teaching methods. He said the trial would continue at the 78 primary and secondary schools in the Parramatta diocese.

A year on, the "flexible" or "agile" learning spaces, featuring "learning stations", smartboards and reading corners with beanbags - rather than traditional desks - were a hit with students, he said - and that preliminary data showing the method has made a difference.

"This is early days," Mr Whitby said. "We're gathering more and more performance data and it's going to take some time to collect rich data."

FULL STORY

Rebellion over class revolution in Catholic schools (Daily Telegraph)

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