The Winds of Change

From an article in the Sun Herald in Australia… seems that at least one school is biting the bullet and going for a radical rethink of school…

E-volution of education

A 24-HOUR school with no traditional classrooms and where students
use mobile phones and laptops to learn is being built in Sydney.

Designers of the Catholic school for 1700 pupils say it will keep
students interested ‘and reduce truancy and behavioural problems.

Pupils from kindergarten to year 12 can attend the school- being
built at Stanhope Gardens, in Sydney’s north-west between 6am and

They can have access to their work and lesson material at anytime on
the Internet and staff will provide online tutorials from 8pm to l0pm

The traditional classroom concept will disappear, replaced
by “learning spaces”, the school will be referred to as a “learning
community” and teachers will be known as “learning advisers” said
Greg Whitby, executive director of schools in the Parramatta diocese.

“The walls of a classroom become redundant because students are able
to access real time, any-time learning.” he said.

THE SUN-HERALD October 8, 2006 p. 39

Read the full article.

Teachers, are you paying attention?

If you are a teacher in a school, this video should be required viewing.

It may just change your view of what you do, and if it doesn’t, you should get out of teaching now. If you can’t become part of the solution then you are almost certainly part of the problem.

Btw, this comes via mscofina’s blog, which is most definitely worth a look.

Burn the Boats

Found this lovely quote on the Borderland blog that really sums up what I see as a huge problem with school as it stands…

My classroom doesn’t work the way I want it to. In the Age of Accountability, I focus on process, and see product as a secondary concern. I’m an ill-fitting peg, uneasy about participating in what, for me, amounts to a charade – emulating archaic practices designed for kids from bygone eras.

Looking at the group I’m with now, thinking about them, and not the generic, bloodless beings called Students, statistical incarnations of demographically catalogued learners, I feel more strongly than ever that I owe each of them more than mere delivery of the curriculum, and concern for where they stand relative to a standard that I don’t endorse.

I have lost track of the number of times I’ve remarked that the dominant content-driven approach to the way we are told to teach is fundamentaly flawed, only to have other teachers respond with “but they have to learn that content or they won’t pass the test at the end”.

They fail to grasp that it’s the system that’s the problem. I reckon it’s about time for a good old fashioned rebellion…