Micro Schools

Matt Candler writes:

Now, listen. Before you go off and yell it from the roof tops that this is the silver bullet we’ve been waiting for, just chill. It’s not. There are no silver bullets in this work.

I like micro-schooling precisely because it constrains us, it forces us to do small batch testing of new ideas, gets us closer to kids and families.


Here’s my working definition of micro-schooling in 2014 and why I think we should build more of them.

1. Modern micro-schools serve less than 153.5 kids.

Psychologist Robin Dunbar’s research suggests that most humans can't manage more than about 150 friendships. The story behind how he came up with Dunbar’s number is fascinating. Read about it if you have a chance. In my experience starting more than 100 schools, I think this number makes sense. When a school gets beyond about 150 kids, it becomes very difficult for adults to keep track of individual students.

Micro-schools embrace this constraint and stay small. The logic behind making schools bigger — to reduce fixed costs and/or diversify teacher expertise had merit 100 years ago when access to information and expertise were more costly. But as the cost of high-quality curriculum moves quickly towards zero, the costs of large schools are starting to outweigh their benefits.

Want more?  Read the whole thing here.