Is this what a transformational school looks like?

If so, what are its core design principles? If not, where does the recipe run afoul?

SMASH from SMASH on Vimeo.

Categories: Learning, Organizational Change

Tags: , ,

Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Tim McClung
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I usually don’t watch these videos all the way through because I get so angry that I have been unable to start a SMASH movement in my state. But I watched this time. I listened and looked at the staff and realized that the success of this school is built upon the outliers who are responsible for the learning environment. They are young or young in heart and mind. They have turned their backs on the education profession and have embraced what feels natural in learning and living. They pay absolutely no attention to common core and standardized testing. I am curious if SMASH is welcomed in other districts and states. Have they ever been recognized nationally as the future of education? Does anybody realize how simple and powerful this is and can be for everyone else? Am I just California dreaming? SMASH would be a life changer in an Appalachian rural area so depressed and destroyed in the 20th century. My heart breaks for the young people who will never see joy in a classroom.

  2. Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Great question, Tim. I know that SMASH is a part of Big Picture Learning, so variations of the model do exist elsewhere (see But to your point what amazes me is seeing California’s definition of an “alternative” school ( — which SMASH is — and then wondering why that sort of vision has to be ALTERNATIVE. I mean, c’mon!!!

  3. Tim McClung
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Of course it is Big Picture. I should have known. I have been trying for years to get Big Picture in my state. Now I know what my life goal is, a Big Picture K-12 . And you are right…Kari at Big Picture always says that it is not about alternative education but education alternatives

  4. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink


  • Read Sam’s Books