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National Center for Research in Vocational Education
University of California, Berkeley
Number 6
August 1999



New Designs for Learning: K-12 Schools

BY GEORGE H. COPA

Envision a school that:

This is the vision implicit in the design process and attributes of New Designs for Learning described in this CenterPoint.

The design process originally developed in New Designs for the Comprehensive High School (Copa & Pease, 1992) has now been applied in a wide variety of contexts: new and existing schools; urban, suburban, and rural schools; small and large schools; public and private schools; K-12 and postsecondary schools; specialized and general schools; and schools in several states in the United States and in other countries. (See New Designs updates listed in the "References" section.) Drawing on these experiences, this CenterPoint updates and synthesizes what has been learned about designing learning experiences and supporting environments.

Getting Started: A Bit of Background

The research and development described in this CenterPoint began in January 1991, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education through the National Center for Research in Vocational Education. The work was done in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota site of the Center. The project has since moved to Oregon State University and is now called New Designs for Learning because of the applications to a wide variety of contexts beyond high school. The initial development was completed in December 1992, with continued refinements made as New Designs for the Comprehensive High School is the focus of presentations, workshops, and technical assistance to schools and state agencies at all education levels that are interested in implementing the design process and concepts.


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