The izone works by assigning a small number of schools with ‘Lab’ status and tasking them with the job of reinventing what it means to be an inner city school. Working on behalf of the entire system these schools prototype radical models of teaching and learning. Well developed school networks are then used to ensure the entire system benefits from what the Lab schools have learned.
What these radical new models of schooling all have in common is that they provide education tailored to the needs of individual students. Lab schools are completely free to change how they teach, when and even where - some are realising the need to get out of the classroom and into the city. The traditional industrial model of schooling, where students are divided into fixed-size, fixed-age groups, is thrown out. Instead customised programmes are adopted. They are also taking advantage of new technologies.
Starting out with 25 Lab Schools working on behalf of the 1700 schools in the system, this has grown to 160 and by 2014 there will be 400.
Find out more about izone by watching this video with John White architect of the izone, our very own David Albury and ARK Schools' Lucy Heller as they discuss the success of New York school district's Innovation Zone and how it transformed the region's education system. They also reflect on what the UK can learn from this inspirational example.
Or watch this short interview with him to find out all about the izone in a nutshell.
Or visit their website.