Designing Classrooms that Work
Teacher Training Guide
Almost universally, America’s teachers have been trained to teach curricula that are school-based and subject-specific. But federal legislation and school reformers are urging that teachers develop and teach curricula that focus on “generic” skills, such as problem solving and teamwork, integrate vocational and academic education, and emphasize “real-world” applications, especially applications found in the workplace. Unfortunately, most teachers are being asked to change their practice without the requisite knowledge or the means for acquiring it. To make use of the workplace as a context for learning, teachers need knowledge of work and work practice, an appropriate model for classroom design and instruction, and the opportunity to learn and apply both. In response to this need, RAND developed and pilot tested a six-week “mini-sabbatical” for high-school teachers and teacher trainers. This document describes the mini-sabbatical curriculum.