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Interview 1 with Brenda Bilal

Bilal, Brenda
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
Bilal, Brenda, 1950-; Ledford, Barbara, 1952-; Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools; West Charlotte High School (Charlotte, N.C.); Irwin Elementary School (Charlotte, N.C.); Garinger High School (Charlotte, N.C.); Piedmont Open Middle School (Charlotte, N.C.); Open plan schools; Education, Elementary; Education, Primary; Multiculturalism; School management and organization; Educational tests and measurements--United States; Educational accountability--United States; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign Speakers; North Carolina--Charlotte; North Carolina--Charlotte--Hickory Grove; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
In part one of this two part interview, Brenda Bilal discusses her experience with open education in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system. Ms. Bilal defines open education as a method that gives students the opportunity to think creatively, make their own choices, and collaborate with others while following an individual educational path. Ms. Bilal praises the open education system in Charlotte for its ability to cultivate diversity, and she discusses the close connection between home and school life. Ms. Bilal also conveys her belief that all students could benefit from an open education experience. In reflecting on college level education, Ms. Bilal discusses how learning communities, (college level programs that provide students with a community based interdisciplinary approach to higher education,) in many ways parallel open education. Ms. Bilal closes the first part of this interview by describing the culture of mutual support, both academically and socially, that an open school education provides.
North Carolina--Charlotte; circa 1970 - 1999
Interview Setting: 
Brenda Bilal's office at Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, N.C.)
Oral History, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Open School Series
Collection Description: 
These interviews focus on the history and significance of open education in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. They were inspired by a school history project at Piedmont Open Middle School in 2004.
Interview Audio: