The eight NT high schools included in this study represent a convenience sample, as they were all implementing the NT model in the state where the evaluation was conducted. The schools were at different stages of implementation, however, because the model had typically been implemented one grade level at a time, starting with the 9th grade and adding another grade level each year. As such, at the time of this study, three schools had implemented the model in grades 9 through 12, three had implemented in grades 9 through 11, and two had implemented in grades 9 and 10. Although a convenience sample, the schools were located in a variety of locales across the state.


According to state-­assigned locale designations, two schools were located in large cities, one in a small town, two in midsize cities, two in rural areas, and one in the urban fringe of a midsize city.

New tech Model School Attribute

As described above, the eight schools implemented the NT model in one of three ways: whole school implementation, autonomous school implementation, and small learning community implementation. Three schools implemented NT across their whole school. They are smaller high schools; two are located in rural communities and one is in a small town. Two schools in this study were established as autonomous schools; they are both located in midsize cities. The NT model at three schools was implemented as a small learning community housed within a large district school; two are located in large cities and one in the urban fringe of a midsize city.


The participant schools enrolled between 178 and 539 students. Students were mostly White, although one school’s population included 71.6% students of color. Around 10% of students were identified as having special educational needs, except for those in one school, whose population of students with special needs consisted of almost 21% of enrolled students. Most schools included between 25 and 45% of students who qualified for free or reduced-­price meals, with the exception of two, which served almost 82% and a little more than 70% of this group of students. Finally, most schools had few English Language Learners (ELL), although two schools included 12.6% and 8.5% ELLs. The two schools whose student population was most diverse were also the two schools located in urban areas.


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Democracy was defined as a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. This description embedded the concept of democracy within social life. However, it was recognized that broad diversity across society makes it challenging to create a sense of connection to any particular ideal. Therefore, democratic societies must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure social changes without introducing disorder.


It is believed that education could bring about common values and that the role of the school is to provide students with opportunities for collaborative communication and investigation. These opportunities characterize the way that students engage in “democratic living” and develop common goals and understandings, as well as the behaviors needed to pursue justice, equity, and social change. It was said that students working together on common problems, establishing the rules by which their classrooms will be governed, testing and evaluating ideas for the improvement of classroom life and learning, and participating in the construction of objectives for their own learning.

Social Life Applied in School

Researchers also insisted that measures be developed and utilized to determine the value of various models of social life when applied in schools. He noted that there are both positive and negative models of social living, and suggested two standards for considering the value of these. First, we must examine the number and variety of shared interests within the example. Second, we should assess the interactions within and beyond the model. It was warned against creating ideal models without applying them to actual societies, or schools when we are using metrics to examine models of democratic education. In other words, we cannot create democratic school models that are impractical or impossible. At the same time, we need ways to measure school models in order to define and describe exactly what distinguishes them from other types of schooling.

The First New Tech High School

The first New Tech high school was founded in 1996 with the goal of preparing students more effectively for post secondary education and careers. Within a few years, interest in the high school led to the founding of the New Tech Network (NTN), an organization responsible for scaling up the school model. In order to facilitate school development, NTN utilizes a Learning Organization Framework, which incorporates the use of data to inform short-­term decision-­making with the creation of aligned learning structures, shared and emerging leadership, and progressive school culture to inform long-­term decision-­making. NTN provides support to districts and schools during the implementation process through onsite instructional coaching and leadership development, as well as ongoing professional development institutes.

Three Design Features of New Tech School

The NT school model consists of three design features engaging teaching via project-­based learning (PBL) as the primary instructional approach, empowering and egalitarian school culture, and integrated technology. NT schools utilize a project-­based learning instructional approach with an emphasis on rigorous and relevant projects, and links to the schools’ local community. In addition, NT schools develop an empowering culture of trust, respect, and responsibility where students and teachers have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and their school environment. Finally, NT schools use integrated technology, including a one-­to-­one computing ratio, internet access, and a learning management system, which allow all students to be self-­directed learners and all teachers to be effective facilitators of learning.


Within the state where this study was conducted, districts sought the NT model as a response to perceptions of declining economic opportunity within rural and urban communities and small towns, as well as out of the desire to offer a more innovative education to students across the state. The state legislature facilitated growth of the model by offering grants to cover the cost of adoption and implementation. Although the NT model had originally been conceived to accommodate about 400 students per school, expansion to this state challenged NTN to broaden its implementation guidelines. For instance, rural schools often had enrollment between 400 and 600 students so that adopting the model for the whole school made more sense than implementing it with two-­thirds of students.


All in all, the NT high schools in this state implemented the model in one of three ways: whole school, autonomous school, and small learning community. Autonomous schools operate like magnet programs that draw students from across their school districts to a campus separate from the local high schools, and small learning communities function as specialized programs located within the walls of a district high school. As described above, whole-­school implementations typically include around 600 students, or the entire student body, while autonomous schools and small learning communities serve about 400 students, or 100 per grade level. As usual, please check out the circular saw, the best drill bits and the best Router Tools if you intend to work with wood or other material at the same condition, thank you.


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Power Sharing

Power sharing includes three variables: authority structure, spaces for participation, and scope of participation.

Authority Structures

First, authority structures describe the school’s leadership approach. Holistic democracy (HD) school leaders distribute decision making and share responsibility, while rational bureaucratic hierarchy (RBH) leaders implement top-­down approaches that place themselves clearly as the authority. HD structures require mutual accountability for all members of the school community including administrators, counselors, teachers, students, and parents. This might perpetuate within an HD school as student-­or teacher-­led decision-­making groups that hold themselves accountable for reaching goals and completing tasks.

Spaces of Participation

Second, spaces for participation describes the openness of decision-­making structures. Exclusive spaces limit participation to only a few stakeholders, such as administrators, and make the decision-­making process secretive. Conversely, inclusive spaces allow for transparency through communal participation of all school members. RBH schools utilize exclusive spaces whereas HD schools create inclusive spaces for participation.

Scope of Participation

Third, scope of participation describes the actual topics that are discussed collectively within the school. Although teachers and students may be invited to participate in making some decisions at an RBH school, administrators at such schools would limit teacher and student participation to more trivial topics. For instance, a principal may ask students what menus they enjoy eating from in the school cafeteria but would not ask students to help create the school’s strategic plan. An HD school would focus participation beyond operational matters and toward the mission and vision of the school. In other words, all school community members would be invited to contribute to discussions determining the overall direction of the school toward academic improvement for all students and the development of equitable policies and practices.

Transforming Dialogue

Transforming dialogue also includes three variables: communication flows, key purpose of dialogue, and engagement.

Communication Flows

First, the communication flows variable identifies the direction of communication. On the one hand, within RHB schools, stakeholders focus more on telling instead of listening. In addition, who does the telling is limited to a small group of stakeholders such as administrators and department chairs. On the other hand, in HD schools, communication flows in numerous directions where all stakeholders are welcome to contribute in an environment of trust and respect. In other words, all members of the school community, including administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders, are not only invited to share their perspectives and ideas openly but also are willing to genuinely listen to each other so that communication flows between and among all members.

Key Purpose of Dialogue

Second, the key purpose of dialogue in HD schools is the sharing of diverse viewpoints, epidemiological, and research with the goal of moving groups toward innovative and communal ideas that transform thinking. This purpose contrasts with that of RHB schools, where dialogue is mainly situational and focused on communicating information. When the purpose of dialogue is holistic, new ideas can be rigorously explored; stakeholders examine problems and explore multiple solutions with the goal of growth for the whole school community.


Third, engagement describes the value that the school places on specific types of personal participation. RHB schools value participation that advantages specific individuals who are motivated to act on balance of rewards they will receive. Conversely, HD schools engage all members as complete individuals who each bring special talents, skills, motivations, and desires to the logical process. This allows individuals to be their genuine selves in the context of interactions. They may share not only knowledge or skills but also beliefs and feelings.

Holistic well-being

Holistic well-being includes three variables: community, personal, and mindset. Community well-­being embodies the focus of relationships within the school.


First, community distinguishes the ways that members of the school community connect with each other. Interactions within RHB schools are characterized by selfish or self-­centered objectives, where common purposes are addressed only superficially. However, community within HD schools embodies a sense of harmony where members are valued as individuals and compassionate relationships are cultivated. This occurs in schools when teachers and students demonstrate that they care about each other as individuals. Such care might be embodied in teachers showing interest in students’ lives outside of school or noticing when students are unhappy and asking them how they can help.


Second, personal well-being signifies how the school develops and supports each member’s sense of connection to the school. At RHB schools, various stakeholders may feel alienated or separated from the school. However, HD schools nurture harmony with oneself, one another, the global community, and the ultimate reality. Schools can nurture personal harmony by providing students and teachers opportunities for personal reflection within the school day.


Finally, mindset describes the way of thinking valued by the school. RHB schools privilege compliance, whereas HD schools desire democratic consciousness. When stakeholders are democratically conscious, they collaborate as autonomous, thinking individuals united through the common goals of seeking reality and working for social justice. This could manifest in schools via service learning projects, community partnerships, or social activism.


I utilized Degrees of Democracy Framework (DDF) to examine the extent to which the NT school model embodies characteristics and practices related to demo-cratic education in general and holistic democracy in particular.

Holistic Democracy

Woods and Woods (2012) defined holistic democracy as a collab-orative process through which each person develops more fully when in spiritual and ecological communion with others. Holistic democracy enables individuals to find their purpose and seek “truth in an open-­hearted, open-­minded way” while extending their individual capacities (p. 708). Further, it entails all members of the school community to act in inclusive, egalitarian, and peaceful ways when collectively making decisions, solving problems, and resolving conflict.

Further Explanation

Holistic democracy includes four “ways of being and acting:” holistic meaning, power sharing, transforming dialogue, and holistic well-­being. Holistic meaning describes our consciousness of what it means to be human, and how we pursue our human nature as spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, artistic, and physical beings. Power sharing identifies the ways that we ought to interact with each other through structures that distribute decision-­ making and include all stakeholders. Transforming dialogue defines an atmosphere where individuals may share ideas openly and disagree respectfully with the intention of reaching under-standing of self and others, personal growth, and community good. and utilitarian ends. Finally, holistic well-­being embodies a sense of connection among individuals through “democratic participant-ton and a sense of agency”


The DDF explores holistic democracy through 13 variables whereby schools are examined along a continuum from a “rational bureaucratic hierarchy” (RBH) to a holistic democracy (HD). Holistic meaning is measured by organizational purpose, the goals of learning, teaching pedagogues, and approaches to learning. Levels of power sharing are identified based on the structure of authority, as well as spaces for and scope of participation. Transforming dialogue is examined via the direction of communications, dialog purposes, and overall engagement in dialogue. Finally, holistic well-­being is evaluated based on the nature and quality of relationships within the school, the personal sense of belonging to the school, and the way(s) of thinking encouraged and supported by the school.

More detailed

A more detailed description of each variable will contribute to a better understanding of the DDF. As describe above, holistic meaning includes four variables: principal organizational purpose, knowledge goal, method of teaching and creating knowledge, and mode of learning.

Principal Organizational

Firstly, principal organizational purpose refers to the school’s mission, which is gauged through the most valued measures of success, as well as the overarching principles that drive teaching and learning. RBH schools might focus on measures such as standardized test scores and grade point averages. These compare students or schools to each other, creating a competitive rather than collaborative environment. Conversely, HD schools prioritize principles such as equity, care, and parity so that students may learn to balance their own growth with the growth of others.

Knowledge Goal

Second, knowledge goal describes the types of student and teacher knowledge that are valued and pursued within the school. RBH schools emphasize the types of knowledge traditionally measured through standardized tests. However, HD schools are more likely to teach and measure 21st-­century learning such as collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, technol-ogy integration, and communication. These learning goals embody not just traditional academic performance, but also interpersonal and interpersonal learning and growth.

Method of Teaching

Third, method of teaching and creating knowledge includes a school’s organizational structures and understanding of knowledge. RBH schools would utilize departmental structures whereby content is taught in isolation demonstrating delimited instruction. But HD schools approach knowledge as interdisciplinary and co-created by students and teachers alike. Additionally, instructional approaches such as inquiry or project-­based learning offer students ways to master skills-­based knowledge beyond the learning objectives defined within lists of content standards.

Mode of Learning

Finally, mode of learning describes the emphasis placed on specific types of learning. While RBH schools emphasize cognitive learning, HD schools move toward inclusive learning that incorporates not only cognitive learning, but also emotional, anesthetic, artistic, transcendent, and instinctual learning. In practice, HD schools might emphasize students’ social and emotional development as equally important to learning content standards.


The evidence provided in the above sections builds towards the conclusion that we are healthier, happier, and more productive when connected with nature. Unfortunately, we live and work in built environments with Canadians spending 88% of their lives indoors. If this connection to nature is truly restorative, then we need to take every practical opportunity to bring natural elements into our indoor environments. By the way, take a look at the level and the Best Woodworking Books to support us

Lower Stress

In the small but growing volume of research on wood and health, the results that are emerging mirror results we have seen from exposure to other natural elements, such as views and plants. Lower stress reactivity in the autonomic nervous system is found when wood, plant, or nature views are present. Lower sympathetic activation and higher parasympathetic activation result in measurably lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, lower skin conductivity, and higher heart rate variability. These results have been linked to exposure to wood.

The Other Side

However, lower stress activation due to views and plants have also been shown to increase the ability to concentrate, lower pain perception, and speed recovery times. Though these benefits have not been identified for wood, they are tied to the same autonomic responses to nature seen with wood. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that future research on wood will find many of these same results.

Natural Materials and Views to Health

In healthcare environments, natural materials and views are associated with better patient outcomes with respect to recovery times, lower pain perception, and positive dispositions. This alone is reason  for including more wood in in these buildings.

Healthcare Facilities

However, healthcare facilities are populated not only by patients, but also by their visiting families and the practitioners that treat them. These people also benefit from the pro health effects of nature. Their health, in turn, benefits the patient. Visiting or accompanying family members with lower stress levels and more positive moods likely affect patient stress level and mood. Further, the link between natural elements and the ability to focus attention cannot be ignored for healthcare practitioners who work all hours and often do not have access to the benefits of natural light. For these workers, wood can bring many pro health benefits in the absence of a connection to outdoors and day lighting.


Wood can bring nature into hospitals and care facilities in very practical ways. First, wood use in buildings is not reliant on windows with views and natural light. Wood can be employed in windowless or non-day lit areas of a building to bring about the benefits of exposure to nature. Further, unlike other natural elements, wood can be used both in a visual and a mechanical role, for example, as an exposed structural material or furniture. Of course, good judgment must be used when employing  wood surfaces. Design for durability and cleanability are key considerations when wood is used. However, recent wood-forward hospital construction and renovations in Canada and abroad have successfully employed the material to critical acclaim and high user satisfaction. The shift towards greater use of wood in healthcare environments is an important and practical step in reconnecting patients, families, and practitioners with the pro health benefits of exposure to nature.


Prior to the current focus on psychophysiological measurements of wood and health there were several studies of the self-report or cognitive response type. Self-report is the most common type of study in  the field of environmental psychology. By the way, take a look on the Best Wood Chisels and Makita Drill of us.


They execute these studies through surveys, interviews, and activities such as sorting photographs of environments. They capture cognitive experience, expectations or beliefs, rather than pre-cognitive physiological reactions. In choosing a material to promote heath both types of studies are valid. It is important that a material such as wood promotes health at a pre-cognitive level, but also that people have the expectation that the material is healthy and desirable.

Health Description

In a 2004 UBC study respondents sorted architectural finishing photographs according to various health descriptions. Though this study did not measure actual health outcomes it found that respondents had an expectation that wooden surfaces contribute to human health and well- being.

Inside Background Effects

Nearly 50 photos from home decorating magazines and catalogues were shown to study participants after the proportion of surfaces in each image covered by wood were calculated. Spaces were seen as warm (i.e., pleasantly relaxed) places to be as the proportion of wooden surfaces increased up to a level of 43% wood, and fell after that proportion of wooden surfaces reached that level. Researchers determined that living rooms using 0% or 100% wood were classified as most novel, and rooms with other percentages of wood in use being classified as less novel.

Outside Background Effects

Researchers learned that “weathered wood and wood shingle are seen  as warmer, more emotional, weaker, more tender, more feminine, and more delicate than are brick, concrete block or flagstone.” These effects may, at least in part, result from the fact that “Emotionality, tenderness, and femininity are semantically related to warmth, and may derive from the relative perceptual qualities of wood and stone. Similarly, the relative weakness and tenderness ascribed to wood may be related to the physical characteristics of wood and stone.”


Two studies published by Ridoutt and colleagues in 2002, shed light on the nonverbal messages sent by wood used in interior design. Study participants were shown images of office lobbies, some of whose finishes were wood, and lobbies in which other materials were used. Firms with wooden finishes in their reception areas were seen as more prestigious than those using other materials, as well as more energetic, innovative, and comfortable. Firms using wood materials in their lobbies were felt to be more desirable organizations to work.


While the volume of psycho-physiological research on wood is low due to the newness of the subject matter, the studies that do exist are focused on the autonomic nervous system responses and employ modern techniques. This makes the link between the presence of wood and physiological manifestations of stress very clear.

Health Effects

The immediate effect of wood on lowering sympathetic nervous system reactivity is seen in four of the five studies below. That is, wood prevents us from becoming more stressed by our environment. This is seen through skin conductivity, heart rate and blood pressure. One of the studies below shows that when longer-term measures are taken wood can not only prevents us from becoming more stressed, it decreases stress levels. When engaged, the parasympathetic nervous system lowers stress levels and promotes healing, recovery, and concentration.

Hearth Rate

This result was found by measuring heart rate variability in students over the course of a school year. Wood use in built environments has clear psycho-physiological benefits, decreasing stress reactivity and lowering stress over the longer measurement periods. It is also true to the Best Cordless Drill or the Best Makita drill at work.

Nervous System

The studied stress levels in Austrian classroom students exposed to wood dominated and non-wood conventional classrooms. Over the course of the school year they found that heart rate variability increased in students in the wood classrooms. An increase in heart rate variability is an indication of parasympathetic nervous system activation. The parasympathetic nervous system acts to reduce stress levels and promote healing and recovery functions in the body.


The studied of the autonomic responses of 119 subjects in wood and non-wood offices before, during, and after a stressful mental task. In this study sympathetic nervous system activation was lower in the wood room. Skin conductance level was lower in the wood office during the pre-and post-test periods. Further, the rate of non-specific skin conductance responses, measurable divergent stressful thoughts, in the wood office was less than half that as in the non-wood office.

Blood Pressure

Heart rate and blood pressure were measured when study participants were in a test room with wood covered surfaces or no wooden surfaces. The blood pressure and heart rate of study participants in the wood room fell below levels measured before they entered it, while the blood pressure and heart rate of those in the room without wood increased compared to levels measured before they visited the room.


The blood pressure of people who like when wood is used as a finishing material dropped significantly when they faced the wooden wall, but if people disliked wood as a building material their blood pressure wasn’t affected by viewing it. Liking steel did not seem to influence the blood pressure of people looking at white steel walls; however, the blood pressure of people who disliked white steel increased when they viewed the steel wall.


Wood is unique as a material for bibliophile design because it is both a natural material and a structural/building material. That is, the pro-health benefits that come from natural elements (as indicated in the previous sections) may be incorporated into the design of a building through its structural or architectural building components. In other words, structural wood components, when exposed, may simultaneously serve two purposes – functional and bibliophile.

Pro Health Benefits

Further, the application of wood does not rely on access to windows and natural light. Thus, people use it to do most of the bibliophile elements discussed in this report. This means that pro health benefits can be found in windowless rooms where natural light and views are not present, and plants do not grow. As a representation of nature, wood provides a high level of design and application flexibility. By the way, wood also presents the toughest build to artist to produce a masterpiece.

Research on Wood

Recently research has focused on the bibliophile properties of wood. Both our physical well-being, as measured by criteria such as blood pressure.Thus, our psychological welfare, as assessed by stress levels, are enhanced when wood is employed. However, as a new field of study the depth and the breadth of research on wood is limited.However, you can find out the Best drill bits and the Router Tools to work with wood easily.


All in all, this overview that follows covers both published and unpublished research results. This is also cherish to the reader of this writing. The results found with respect to wood in the built environment are similar to results seen from other natural materials. Psycho physiological responses to wood indicate lower autonomic stress reactivity when wood is present. Further, self-report studies indicate a preference for wood and an expectation of pro health and productivity outcomes.