Re-engineering the Schools of Tomorrow: Towards Community Sponsorship

  • David J. Shernoff
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


In this chapter, it is argued that to keep pace with large demographic shifts and the speed of information technologies, schools will have to transform themselves in the direction of optimal learning environments presented in this book in order to survive. The key characteristic of optimal learning environments is consistently demonstrated to be environmental complexity, or providing a powerful combination of environmental challenge and support. While creating optimal learning environments remains a great challenge, much will be accomplished if greater priority is placed on meeting all individual students’ needs, as illustrated by many of the models presented in this book. Youth can be very valuable societal resources, and can thrive when they feel a sense that they matter and belong through taking valued roles to contribute. There is great demand for adding more time to the school day that has already gained traction among policy makers, and is already occurring in a variety of states and cities. The main question for the future of schools appears to be how future schools will be reengineered with respect to time, resources, and staff. Forming strong community partnerships may be the essential ingredient in adapting to the times, expanding not only school time but the number and diversity of community-based engaged learning opportunities. Models of Extended Learning Time and Opportunities (ELTOs) suggest that schools that effectively engage youth in the future will likely move towards an intentionally blending of academic, physical, social, and emotional goals and activities throughout an extended school day.


Community Partner School Reform Community Partnership Traditional School Engaging Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Shernoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations College of EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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