The shape of schools to come?
Ask 10 different experts what schools of the future will look like and
you will get 10 different answers.
But one thing upon which they all agree is that the way that pupils are taught and the
technology that is used must have a central role in the design.
So planners have to understand what the education of the future will be like to prevent
them designing something that will soon become outdated.
Education consultant Les Watson says there is a danger that those planning schools for the
future create something that вЂњconstricts the learning of the futureвЂќ.
Instead of planning a new school with rows of 1940s desks in them, those involved in the
process must вЂњthink outside the boxвЂќ.
Mr. Watson says: вЂњCurrently we run education like a railway вЂ“ everybody has to be at a
particular place at a particular time to catch the learning train. With new technology it
does not have to be like that.вЂќ
Lessons can be beamed into classrooms by absent teachers podcasting on the interactive
Pupils can use their laptops for independent study in wi-fi zones in the open air вЂ“
weather permitting of course.
What was once a playground could become a highly technological learning area as well as a
place to play and chill out with friends.
Learning consultant Professor Stephen Heppell sees the constant movement from class to
class, that characterises todayвЂ™s schools, as a huge waste of time that is preventable.
He says: вЂњWhen kids are working with new technology they put their head down and really
go for it. And yet in so many schools we come to the end of the lesson вЂ“ we ring a bell,
we stop them doing what they are doing and then we take them into another box.вЂќ
Passing a large volume of children through a narrow opening like a corridor or stairwell
is bound to create friction and problems, he says.
All the major incidents of children being injured or stabbed in schools have occurred in
corridors, he claims. But as technological advances allow childrenвЂ™s learning to become
more varied and complex, he argues, they will become more focused and will enjoy longer
And so they will not need to change classrooms as much.
By Hannah Goff,
BBC News education reporter
to be continued