Recently, we stayed at a Vancouver, Canada hotel that uses a unique elevator system. Instead of elevators responding to an Up or Down button, in front of our bank of five elevators was a touch pad requiring each guest to simply enter the floor they desire. Immediately the touchpad informs the guest which of the five elevators (A, B, C, D or E) will take them directly to their desired floor.
Imagine when the designated elevator arrives and the doors open and take guests directly to the floor they selected, no stops in between. The same works for returning to the lobby, simply indicate on the touch pad from any floor and an elevator arrives to take you directly to the lobby, with no stops along the way.
During our three days at the hotel we encountered several guests initially confused with the elevator system but quickly embrace the immediate designation and direct travel to their desired floor.
These experiences got me thinking about how schools create pathways for our students. Do we create a one-elevator for all that in most circumstances stops on multiple floors or do we create unique and direct pathways for our students? Or is there a hybrid strategy that at times establishes common paths with many stops and other times direct routes more effectively lead to positive student development?
My experience is until we have students with common characteristics we should create multiple direct pathways for students to fully develop. The more we can demonstrate the direct connection between student’s interest, attributes and aspirations the more relevant school will be.