What is the LEC Forum?
The LEC Forum was an alliance of individual educators formed in the mid-1990s and dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge and professional development, and in helping educational practitioners to pursue systemic design/redesign of schools and the personalization of student learning. The Forum was a web-based, researched-based extension of the Learning Environments Consortium International. In 1975, at the conclusion of the national Model Schools Project sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the Danforth Foundation, five of the project’s most successful schools met with project staff in Los Angeles to form a self-help group to continue the task of renewing American and Canadian schools. LEC International was the realization of that commitment. Both LEC International and the LEC Forum formally discontinued field operations in 2009, but the members voted to retain this website to further the dissemination of information about school design/redesign and personalized instruction.
What is the goal of the LEC Forum Website?
The major goal of the LEC Forum website is to inform schools about systemic school design/redesign and effective personalized instructional programs. The LEC Forum does not intend to impose a rigid model of schooling but strives to promote more effective administrator and teacher roles and to recommend personalized approaches to instruction and evaluation. To further this goal, the LEC Forum now has two websites: lecforum.org dedicated to providing information on personalization of education and instruction, and lecforum.net dedicated to providing information and data on systemic school design/redesign and renewal.
What is School Design?
The process for designing or redesigning a school is basically the same as the process for designing anything else. Our society has been reasonably successful in developing and manufacturing highly sophisticated products but less so in designing complex social and political systems — like schools. With few exceptions, schools have not been designed. They have just evolved from earlier forms of schooling, with little or no thought given to the validity or relevance of the organizational structures and programs. The LEC Forum proposes that schools interested in systematic improvement must first become learning organizations and develop their own School Design Statements, with carefully written specifications for the design components. School design applies systems thinking to the process of school renewal.
What is Personalized Instruction?
Personalized instruction is the effort on the part of a school to take into account individual student characteristics and needs, and flexible instructional practices, in organizing the learning environment of a school. It is an attempt to match school resources and flexible teaching strategies with the needs of individual students. It is characterized by:
- A dual teacher role of coach and advisor;
- The diagnosis of relevant student learning characteristics, including developmental level, cognitive/learning style and prior knowledge/skills.
- A culture of collegiality in the school, characterized by a constructivist environment and collaborative learning arrangements.
- An interactive learning environment characterized by small school or small group (class) size, thoughtful conversation, active learning activities and authentic student achievement.
- Flexible scheduling and pacing, with adequate structure; and
- Authentic assessment.