Students and teachers photograph the best—and worst—places in their schools.

Collective wisdom.
Oct. 21 2010 7:04 AM

My School Looks Like This

Students and teachers photograph the best—and worst—places in their schools.

While designers are busy creating the classroom of the future, many students are stuck in not merely unimaginative school buildings but actually disgusting ones. The 21st Century School Fund and Healthy Schools Campaign, which work for improvements in education facilities, and Critical Exposure, which uses student photography as an advocacy tool, believe that no one can show what is and isn't working in school buildings better than the people inside them. Each year, they ask students and teachers to shoot the best and worst of their surroundings. The "Through Your Lens" exhibit features an awful lot of peeling paint and broken windows—the kind of environment you wouldn't want your kid in for an hour, much less a childhood. But the photographers also highlight examples of spaces that work, flashes of color and sunlight and order in otherwise chaotic surroundings.

Here is a gallery of images from 2009.

Slide Show: My Schools Look Like This. Click image to launch.

Advertisement

In this crowdsourced Hive project, Slate is trying to reinvent the American classroom. (Read this explanation why.) We're inviting you to envision, and design, a new American classroom for fifth-graders. Your entries can be shovel-ready or fanciful. All entries must have a written description, and we strongly encourage submitting a sketch or a plan, so fellow readers can help visualize your ideas.

You can submit your design between now and Wednesday, Oct. 29. You can vote and comment on the ideas here. In early November, our expert judges and readers will choose a dozen finalists, and we'll select a winner in mid-November. Click here to read terms and conditions, then please enter your great idea here.

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

Are You Attending the People’s Climate March? Nine Reasons You Should.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 1:38 PM The Gaffe Police Are Back to Make Politics Glib and Boring
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Never Remember Anything
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.