Monday, December 10, 2012

The Future School - School in 2020

In November I gave a three-week online course for nearly one hundred eTwinning teachers from all over Europe. The topic of the learning event was the future school. We watched videos and presentations, and discussed future trends together. Participating teachers shared opinions and ideas about the future of learning in small groups comparing different scenarios.

The same issues worry teachers across Europe: the poor economic situation leading to cutbacks that target schools and educational development, the enormous pace of technological development impossible to keep up with without major education policy changes and concerns about technology replacing human interaction.

When discussing what  future school buildings and learning environments would be like, a large part of the teachers were in favour of large, spacious and adaptable areas containing workstations for various activities and facilities that support learning in groups of various sizes and independent work. Virtual environments will allow individual learning paths, learning together in international projects, large scale interaction with the world outside and overlapping of school and free time activities.

On the whole, the participants felt that, in the future, collaborative student-centered learning methods will be prevalent. By working together students learn important skills: communication, knowledge-building, creative thinking and learning to learn, of which the last one, the teachers considered of a special importance.

Teaching profession was discussed using five different scenarios. Many participants found especially interesting the scenario in which teachers specialize in one or two different learning methods. Teachers offer a variety of learning paths for students to choose from, so that they can follow the path that suits their learning style best and is the most motivating and appealing. This scenario is built on the idea of teachers’ continuous professional development, networking and cooperation. Flexibility and student-centered learning methods are its corner stones.

You can read more about the learning event here. If thinking about the future with other teachers interests you, there will be a new course in April 2013.

Here you can read the results of the team work:


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