Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №4/2007


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to understand what the education of the future will be like to prevent them designing something that will soon become outdated.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 “constricts the learning of the future”.
Instead of planning a new school with rows of 1940s desks in them, those involved in the process must “think outside the box”.
Mr. Watson says: “Currently we run education like a railway – 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.”
Lessons can be beamed into classrooms by absent teachers podcasting on the interactive whiteboard.
Pupils can use their laptops for independent study in wi-fi zones in the open air – 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 today’s schools, as a huge waste of time that is preventable.
He says: “When 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 – we ring a bell, we stop them doing what they are doing and then we take them into another box.”
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 children’s learning to become more varied and complex, he argues, they will become more focused and will enjoy longer lessons.
And so they will not need to change classrooms as much.

By Hannah Goff,
BBC News education reporter

to be continued