Sadly, Little Boxes describes how we have taught teachers to lead their classes for many, many years. For many years, I have advocated for being different, but it doesn't matter: while people like to tell us to think outside the box, what they really must mean is to make sure we teach every student using the same materials and the same methods.
How has that worked for us?
Here it is again: there is no curricular answer to solve all of the issues in our public schools. There is no computer program or online subscription (no matter how much it costs) that will inspire every student to learn and improve. There is no teaching method (no matter how popular and no matter who promotes it) that will encourage every student to read, write, compute, and regurgitate information effectively. Why is this, unfortunately, true?
What we have done for years - putting children in small groups, prescribing a program based on test performances, buying materials based on claims that they address the latest federal mandates, accepting shiny new programs because of a sales pitch - has not worked. In our class, we do things differently. We accept that every teacher has strengths and weaknesses, and yet we do not pigeonhole the teacher by making him teach with a script. We accept that students need more than a cold academic approach to knowledge and skills, but that other areas provide the foundation and must be addressed first and often.
I hope students who have me for a teacher do not all turn out the same. That is not my intention in teaching. I do, however, hope they can function with other non-boxes in a coherent society.