Disrupting the “paradigm of one”: Restructuring structures to integrate learning in a modern learning environment


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 32 , ISSUE 1 (June 2017) > List of articles

Disrupting the “paradigm of one”: Restructuring structures to integrate learning in a modern learning environment

Noeline Wright

Keywords : Structuring structures; logic of practice; new schools; curriculum integration; paradigm of one; modern learning environments; flexible learning spaces

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 48-61, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/jelpp-2017-005

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 09-June-2019



Curriculum integration in secondary schools appears to be difficult to achieve in schools that are built on traditional models of single classrooms and a compartmentalised curriculum. The relatively insular nature of secondary school classrooms is, however, being upended in the design of new schools in New Zealand, which disrupt the single-cell classroom tradition. One principal of a new school labels this old model as the “paradigm of one”: a shorthand descriptor for the single-classroom, single-teacher, singleclass, single-subject, single assessment arrangements generally prevalent in such contexts. The aim of this principal and this new school is to provide responsive, connected, collaborative, and deep learning.                                                                                                          This article outlines efforts of that secondary school to restructure the “structuring structures” usually underpinning secondary schools, and organise learning. To that end, staff have interrogated, pulled apart and reconstituted the national curriculum document to provide an integrated learning structure. In rethinking conventional views of curriculum implementation in a secondary school, the school has created an innovative “logic of practice”.                                                                                                        I examine the thinking behind curriculum decision-making in this school and provide a glimpse of how this is played out in the first two years of its existence.

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