Recently, I made a list of what I think my perfect school would look like. As I began developing the list, I was struck by two things: Firstly, how most of it was about making school more student-centered, and secondly, that I didn't mention technology once. For me, this second trend bears a little more fleshing out. I would never say that there is no place for technology in education, far from it… But I think the place of technology is to support a more student-focused, relevant and engaging methodology. It is the 'how', not the 'what'. For me, technology in the ideal school plays a supporting role – and it is a vital one, since my dream school relies on it to work, but it is still only there as a means to support the growth and flourishing of our students.
The specific technologies will change and evolve, but once a school has reliable and fast Internet connectivity, other technologies can grow around it. Just as if our students are given primary status over the syllabus, everything else will fall into place.
Finally, some of these ideas you will recognise as eminating from leading education gurus such as Sir Ken Robinson. For this, I make no apologies: I have embraced the learning revolution! With that in mind, here's what I think the ideal school should be like: (Please feel free to comment and add your own below.)
The perfect school:
The primary focus is on tinkering, experimenting, problem-solving and making mistakes, rather than getting content into heads. 'Remembering' is very much a required skill, but it is closer to the bottom of the pyramid than it is currently in most schools. The whole school environment is challenging, supportive, caring and aimed at personal growth. Students are encouraged to feel as proud of their failures and the lessons learnt from them as they are of their successes. The teachers are passionate about upgrading their skills and embracing the most effective methodologies. The priority in lessons is about...
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