For Immediate Release — November 17, 2019 | Daegu Middle High School
USAG CAMP WALKER — November 17, 2019 — Every day, faculty and staff at Daegu Middle High School in South Korea are finding new ways to maximize the flexibility of the learning spaces provided by their 21st century school design.
At the beginning of school year 2017-2018, Daegu Middle School — formerly part of Daegu Elementary School — was combined with Daegu High School, forming what is now known as Daegu Middle High School. At the same time, the new middle high school also moved into a brand new 21st century facility.
Students working in a collaborative space in groups. Daniel Limmer and Ryan Rodgers team teach a middle school social studies class.
“To say that it hasn’t been easy would be an understatement,” said Altorn Grade, principal at Daegu. “But all the hard work over the last two years has paid off as evidenced by how smoothly things have been going this school year so far.”
Twenty-first century schools are designed to support 21st century learning and education which is focused on preparing students for jobs of the future. Characteristics of 21st century schools include open spaces and neighborhoods versus traditional classrooms, flexible and multi-use furniture, technology integration and collaborative learning.
“The teachers are in full swing, while everyone, including the students, are adjusting to the functionality that our 21st century school provides with its central hubs, learning studios, teacher collaboration spaces, small group rooms and one-to-one learning rooms,” said Victor Rivera, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) computer science teacher and public affairs officer at Daegu.
As a result of the 21st century initiative, DoDEA embraced a major paradigm shift changing the way teachers teach and the way students learn. This include the use of a myriad of technological tools such as one-to-one laptops, tablets, smartboards and other technology, and the innovative use of learning spaces.
“This initiative is proving to be an extraordinary combo that clearly is benefiting our students and teachers here at Daegu Middle High School,” said Grade.
Teachers are able to vary the levels of visual separation in the learning studios using moveable walls, providing more eyes on students across the neighborhood. Additionally, the staff is able to configure the learning spaces to facilitate student collaboration, group instruction, individual learning opportunities and other learning experiences.
"The 21st century school here at Daegu is fantastic, especially considering that I am able to configure my classrooms to enable student collaboration. I have plenty of open space as well as specific collaboration rooms to effectively create an environment that fosters student learning,” said Rebecca Lentz, AVID and math teacher at Daegu. “Also, our 21st century school is an ideal physical environment as I team teach an Algebra I class of 31 students; we are able to group the students in a variety of configurations to meet their learning needs. Bottom line, I love it."
“Given that we are going on our third year, we have learned to utilize the physical learning spaces to craft a vibrant, exciting, and vigorous learning environment as our students become college and career ready,” said Grade. “Plus, we are using 21st century teaching strategies such as team teaching, school-wide project-based learning (PBL), and other collaborative learning activities that enrich the learning process and complement our 21st century school.”
The future is now and it is happening at Daegu Middle High School!
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the United States that serve children of military families.